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Jenny Pitman

Jenny Pitman is another author from the racing world who has followed the track first blazed by Dick Francis, and followed since with variable success by John Francome. After a very successful career racing (Jenny Pitman was the first woman trainer to win the Grand National - in 1983, with Corbière) she has written a series of thrillers about Jan Hardy, a trainer. The Dilemma, the one I have read, is a decent enough read. I was not 100% convinced by the plot: Jenny Pitman is on much surer ground when she writes about the ins and outs of training life, at which she is very good indeed. The book came alive when Jan’s training life is described, and it’s worth reading purely for these bits. I think Jenny Pitman has better books in her than her thrillers, and I’d like to read a straightforward story of racing life, untainted by thrillerdom.


Finding the books: all still easy to find in hardback and paperback.


Links, sources, and further reading

Jenny Pitman interviewed in The Independent, 29 March, 2009

Jenny Pitman - Chairman of Ponies UK

Jenny Pitman; the Autobiography

Partridge, 1998, Bantam, 1999, pb

Glorious Uncertainty: the autobiography of Jenny Pitman

Written with Sue Gibson, Willow, London, 1984, 192 pp.


On the Edge

Macmillan, 2002, 256 pp.

Pan, pb, 2002


Jan Hardy is struggling to bring up her two children on her own in Wales, not helped by the baleful
presence of her mother-in-law, or a local developer forcing her out of her farm. She moves to
Gloucestershire and starts to train racehorses.


Double Deal

Macmillan, 2002, 360 pp.

Pan Books, 2003, pb


Jan has her professional training licence, and visits Ireland to buy horses. There she meets
owner A D O’Hagan, and with his support, builds up her string. Life at home though, is still
complicated.

The Dilemma

Macmillan, 2003, 406 pp.



Jan Hardy has been betrayed by some of her owners, so when an Australian businessman
asks her to train his string, it seems like the answer to all her problems.

Bibliography - horse books only

The Vendetta

Macmillan, London, 2004, 294 pp.

Pan, London, 2005, pb
Large Print Edition, Magna, 2006


A D O’Hagan wants Jan to train one of his most promising horses, Morning Glory. Unfortunately
the horse seems almost untrainable, until a horse whispering stable lad arrives.

The Inheritance

Macmillan, London, 2005, 263 pp
Large Print Edition, Magna, 2006


Jan Hardy begins to recover from the wounds of the past, with a wedding coming, and a new,
albeit mysterious, owner, Cherokee Indian Bobby Montana. However, nothing goes smoothly,
with a sudden death, an illness affecting Montana’s horses, and it appears her father is hiding
a secret.


The Jan Hardy series

On the Edge

Double Deal

The Dilemma

The Vendetta

The Inheritance