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Carol Vaughan

Carol Vaughan isn’t particularly well known now:  the first of her books about the Percheron, Matilda, was published in paperback but none of  her other books, as far as I know, were.  Books about heavy horses are not common, particularly Percherons.  Carol Vaughan’s books are amongst the most attractive of pony books visually:  I love Constance Marshall’s illustrations and the Michael Charlton one for King of the Castle is a delight.

Carol Vaughan’s output doesn’t look large, but she was a regular fixture in Pony Magazine, Pony Magazine Annual and The Pony Club Annual, turning out many, many short stories.  

Finding the books: Most of the books are easy to find, apart from Dancing Horse, which is very hard to find.

Many thanks to Lisa Catz for her help with the photographs.

The Matilda Series

Missing Matilda

Two Foals for Matlida

Trekker’s Trail

Missing Matilda
Blackie, 1964, illus Constance Marshall
Knight, pb, 1977

The blurb:
When Mary Ann and Jimmy learn that Matilda is to be sold to an unscrupulous dealer, they

decide to kidnap and hide her. But Matilda is a great, grey Percheron carthorse and
feeding and taking care of such a spirited charge, while keeping her out of sight in a
deserted windmill, takes all their ingenuity. When Matilda's hiding place is in danger of
discovery, Mary Ann has a brilliant idea: to enter the big horse in the fancy dress class at
the local gymkhana. With Jimmy as her rider, she wins first prize, but her disguise is perfect
and Matilda is still missing. On the last day of the holidays Mary Ann and Jimmy know a
proud moment when Matilda is recognized as a true princess among carthorses and offered
a fine new home.”

Two Foals for Matilda
Blackie, 1965, illus Constance Marshall
White Lion, hb, 1976

The blurb:

“It was a year since Mary Ann and her brother Jimmy had saved Matilda's life - Matilda, the
beautiful Percheron mare on old Mr Larrimer's farm. Then they had helped him sell Matilda
to M.Lavalliere, who bred Percheron horses in Northern France. Now the kindly Frenchman
had fulfilled his promise to invite them all to two weeks' holiday to see Matilda. They found
the beloved mare fat, lazy and maternal - but blessed with two lovely foals. The story of the
children's holiday in the French summer sun begins with Matilda's role as a film star, as a
visiting film unit is making a movie about William the Conqueror, and needs a mare fit for a
Duke, or a King! But more, much more is to follow before the children take the boat back to
England, full of happy memories. “

The Dancing Horse
Blackie 1966, illus Constance Marshall

The Manorfields Stud is invaded one day by stray horses and ponies.  It turns out that they are from a
visiting circus, and escaped after their train derailed.  Michael, Peter and Judy return the horses, but are
particularly struck with the beautiful Arab, Roi Soleil.  His rider, Fleurette, was injured in the derailment
and can’t ride him. The Manorfields au pair, Monique, resolutely refuses to have anything to do with the
horse or his rider, and in the end the family find out why.

Trekkers’ Trail
Blackie, 1967, illus Constance Marshall
White Lion, hb, 1977

Another Mary Ann, Sandra and Jimmy story:  they have been invited to the premiere
of Matilda’s film, and plan to ride there.  Once they’re there, they get involved in the
hunt for William the Conqueror’s sword, which has been stolen.  Jimmy meets another
horse, who looks as if he will solve the problem of what to do now he’s outgrowing

King of the Castle
Blackie, 1968, illus Michael Charlton

Other:  Ann and Peter in Greece Frederick Muller 1965, illus Constance Marshall  Flight of Fancy Robert Hale, 1982 Bibliography