Monday, 8 September 2014

PBOTD 8th September: Joan Houston - Jump Shy

Joan Houston rode her first pony at the age of two: she fell off. That didn't deter her, however, and she went on to compete in the National Horse Show finals in New York at the age of nine. Joan Houston wrote three horse stories: none of which, sadly, are particularly easy to find. Just one was published in the UK: Jump Shy, today's choice. It was published by Heinemann in the UK in 1959, with a lovely cover by Sheila Rose. The original edition is illustrated by Paul Brown, which means that if you want this, you're probably going to have to dig deep. 

Thomas Y Crowell first edition, 1956
Jump-Shy's location has been changed in the Heinemann edition to the UK, but not much else in the book has been changed, which does make it read a little oddly at times, but the story's well worth persevering with. It's a story of rivalries between different training methods and conflicting loyalties, as heroine Tamara tries to get showjumper Merlin, who after a horrible accident now refuses to jump, back to his old form.

Heinemann, London, edition, 1959
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More on Joan Houston

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