Posts tagged ponies

Mark Todd at Badminton

The Badminton Horse Trials have always been the most exciting event in the world as far as I’m concerned. Back in 1980 I was a twelve year old kid at the Ngaruawahia Pony Club when Mark Todd won it for the first time. I remember hearing the news and thinking that it simply wasn’t possible – Badminton was such a major, major event with riders like Lucinda Prior-Palmer and the very best eventers in the world. It was the most incredible victory for Todd. He had never even ridden at Badminton before and he was completely untested around a course of four-star calibre. His dramatic, unexpected win marked the start of a decade and a half of dominance by the New Zealanders in the sport of eventing.

Todd won every major event after that plus two gold medals at the Olympics on Charisma. By the time he retired in 2000 he had already been named the Event Rider of the Century. Now, after a decade out of the limelight he’s made the most astonishing comeback at the age of 55 to win Badminton for an amazing fourth time – on a young, green horse NZB Land Vision – and he’s proven that he’s the Event Rider of the Next Century too! I watched him in the showjumping and screamed when he flew clear over the last fence and promptly burst into tears. He is such an inspiration! A complete superhero.

Real-life and fiction often seem to go hand in hand – my last book in the Pony Club Secrets series, Nightstorm and the Grand Slam, is also set at the Badminton Horse Trials with a New Zealand rider bound for glory.

I put the finishing touches on the final draft of Nightstorm and the Grand Slam last night and it is probably off to the printers by now – due for release in the UK in May and here in New Zealand in July. I can’t wait to see it in print as I loved writing this book and it is the perfect end to the series. Meanwhile, I have to start the next book in the Pony Club Rivals series. I am already behind on my deadline! Typical!

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Nightstorm and the Grand Slam

I have been in floods of tears over my laptop this week as I say goodbye to some very good friends – namely the characters in the Pony Club Secrets series!

That’s right. After 13 books and untold adventures for Issie and the gang from Chevalier Point, it’s all about to come to a thrilling conclusion. I have just been finishing the rewrites on the very last book in the series, Nightstorm and the Grand Slam, and that’s the reason for all those tears. It’s not just that I’m going to miss all the characters once I stop writing the books – although I am going to feel awfully lonely without them. The tears also flowed because some very big and dramatic things occur in the Grand Slam. I won’t ruin it for you by telling you what happens, but I will say that I think it is the most action-packed book in the whole series!

Unfortunately, New Zealand readers are going to have to wait another three months to find out how it all ends because Nightstorm and the Grand Slam isn’t going to come out here until July! Meanwhile the penultimate book in the series – Liberty and the Dream Ride – is out in local shops and your library now. And you can always put in an advance request with your librarian for the Grand Slam too so that you’ll be the first to get it when it finally arrives!

The latest book in the Pony Club Rivals series is called Riding Star and it should be out here in New Zealand next month. Georgie and the girls are back at Blainford and they’re starting a polo team. I picked up a few hints hanging out with polo players down in Gisborne when I was writing it. You can check it out on my blog at stacygregg.co.uk.

Yesterday, as a break from all the writing – I did some more writing! I was helping out at a dressage competition writing up the judges’ notes for her. It was loads of fun watching the dressage riders – so much fun that I thought I might try riding a test myself. My horse Ash and I are entered for a competition next weekend!

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Check out our April Star Author – Stacy Gregg

After a short break our Star Author promotion is back!  To kick it off again we have a fantastic author joining us this month, Stacy Gregg.

Stacy Gregg is a New Zealand author who has written the Pony Club Secrets series, including Blaze and the Dark Rider and Comet and the Champion’s Cup, and the new Pony Club Rivals series, starting with The Audition.  She has a horse called Ash who loves showjumping and dressage and his funny antics inspire lots of stories for the Pony Club Secrets and Pony Club Rivals books.

Welcome Stacy!  We look forward to reading lots about your horses and your books.

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Pony Club Rivals

by Stacy Gregg,

This book is about a girl called Georgie Parker who has to get through a tough horse-riding audition to attend a special boarding school.  Georgie desparately wants to win but finds herself up against other kids who are really good riders and have very rich families.

During the auditions, Georgie’s spirited horse got spooked and threw her off. Her Dad and her Coach get her to a trial and at that she is given chance at Show Jumping….  and all the exciting adventures that follow.

I liked the book because I really like the idea of being a Show Jumper riding horses all the time.  It will appeal to girls in the age 9 to 12 year group.

reviewed by Maggie

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