Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Good Luck Colt (1953)

The Good Luck Colt

Genevieve Torrey Eames, il. Paul Brown

1953, Julian Messner, Inc.

Martin wasn't listening. He lifted the colt's head against his chest and rubbed its neck and sides. "Come on, little fellow," he whispered. "You're going to grow up and be a big horse someday - a trotter."

Martin Dennis loves trotting horses. His father breeds and trains Standardbreds, dreaming of one day reaching the harness world's biggest race, the Hambletonian, and Martin dreams right along with him. But while his father's hopes are pinned on the promising black colt Master Peter, Martin believes in his little orphan foal Good Luck. Since no one knows if his dam was registered, Good Luck's prospects for a trotting career are dim, but Martin is determined to make his colt a harness horse. He has some trouble -

It was not until he unsnapped the rope and picked up the lines that he ran into trouble. No matter how he tried he could not get Good Luck to walk away from him. Every time he stepped behind him and picked up the lines the colt turned and came toward him, nuzzling his hands and pockets for carrots or oats.

- but for the most part, Good Luck learns easily and Martin has high hopes of tracking down his dam's papers through a slippery horseman named Gus Brown. When tragedy strikes, Martin feels pressured to re-ignite his father's enthusiasm for horses, and suggests a trip to nearby Goshen to watch the harness world's biggest race, the Hambletonian. There, father and son meet the famous names of harness racing: Ben White, Bion Shively, Sep Palin, Harry Pownall, Fred Eagen, and watch the race itself. Upon their return home, matters with the elusive Gus reach a crisis, and Good Luck ends up racing for the first time.

A well-written, enjoyable old horse book with a vivid portrait of harness racing and beautiful Paul Brown illustrations. Martin's little brother Cal is a wonder of tough-hearted childhood; his favorite strategy when he's annoyed at his older brother is to hopefully suggest that someone or something is dead. Even the villain Gus Brown is drawn intriguingly; a skillful driver and careful horseman, he is described as having a weakness for crooked schemes, but an honesty about caring for his horses.


Voline - Standardbred mare

Lady Luck - Standardbred mare

Good Luck - bay Standardbred colt with white stripe (Lady Luck x Good Cheer)

Master Peter - black Standardbred colt (Voline x Master Mind)

Peter Volo - Standardbred stallion

Master Mind - Standardbred stallion

Florita - chestnut Standardbred filly

Real Horses

Iron Prince - brown Standardbred colt

Crystal Hanover - Standardbred filly in Hambletonian

Sharp Note - Standardbred colt in Hambletonian

Duke of Lullwater - Standardbred colt in Hambletonian

Hit Song - Standardbred colt in Hambletonian

Scotch Victor - Standardbred colt in Hambletonian

Peter Nibble - Standardbred colt in Hambletonian

Hardy Hanover - Standardbred colt in Hambletonian

Epicure- Standardbred colt in Hambletonian


Tassle - Dalmation mascot


The Hambletonian Society

The real 1952 Hambletonian

Photo of the winning heat

Bion Shively

There was a short documentary film on Bion Shively's victory,Old Man In A Hurry.

Alma Sheppard

Martin, arguing for the right to race his colt, uses Alma Sheppard as an example of a child who raced harness horses. In 1937, she drove Dean Hanover to a record 1:58.

Other books by the author

Pat Rides The Trail 1946 il. Dan Noonan

A Horse To Remember 1947 il. Paul Brown

Ghost Town Cowboy 1951 il. Paul Brown

Flying Roundup 1957 il. Lorence F. Bjorklund

Dog story

Handy Of The Triple S 1949 il. Paul Brown

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blaze Finds Forgotten Roads

Blaze Finds Forgotten Roads

C.W. Anderson, author and illustrator

1970, The Macmillan Company

Billy and Tommy go riding on their ponies Blaze and Dusty, and explore the woods by making every right turn. They quickly become lost, find a ruined cabin, jump a wide stream and picnic by a waterfall.

Unusual for the Blaze series in that much of it takes place in thick woods, with the boys ducking to avoid branches, etc. Unusual for Anderson, too, whose drawings usually portray riders using grassy lanes with the occasional low stone wall. I could swear Blaze and Dusty grow taller in this one. There's one drawing where Blaze looks very much like a horse, and Dusty looks leggier than previously. Quibbles, all. These are some of the most engaging drawings in the series, with both children and horses looking interestedly around as they scout new territory.


Blaze - bay pony with four socks and a blaze

Dusty - grey spotted pony

Billy And Blaze books
Billy And Blaze
Blaze And The Gypsies
Blaze And The Forest Fire
Blaze Finds The Trail
Blaze And Thunderbolt
Blaze And The Mountain Lion
Blaze And The Indian Cave
Blaze And The Lost Quarry
Blaze And The Gray Spotted Pony
Blaze Shows The Way
Blaze Finds Forgotten Roads

Other Books (picture)
A Pony For Linda
The Crooked Colt
Pony For Three
Lonesome Little Colt

Other Books
High Courage
The Horse of Hurricane Hill
Afraid To Ride
Phantom, Son Of The Gray Ghost
A Filly For Joan
Great Heart
Another Man O'War
The Outlaw

Other Books (nonfiction)
Tomorrow’s Champions
Horses Are Folks
The Smashers
Heads Up, Heels Down
Deep Through The Heart
Twenty Gallant Horses
Complete Book Of Horses And Horsemanship