Horse & Pony Books:
THE SAGEBRUSH SORREL
(1st edition NELSON [USA] 1953)
(1st UK edition COLLINS 1955)
ILLUSTRATED BY LEE TOWNSEND
Reprinted in hardback a few times by Collins in the UK. I don't think any of the British editions had illustrations however.
EDITION PICTURED: Collins UK edition
SUMMARY: Ollie is an orphan who lives with kindly Martha and not so kindly Mel. He becomes friends with Helen, daughter of a neighbouring ranch owner. When out on a ride they spot a young sorrel colt who is the son of a thoroughbred mare who was stolen by a rustler. They name the colt Rowdy and Ollie is determined to eventually own the horse for himself. But when Ollie eventually catches Rowdy and tames him: his troubles are by no means over - boy and horse have to contend with Mel's cruelty and also the rustler who stole Rowdy's mother, wants to claim the young horse for himself. Will Ollie and Rowdy ever be able to live together in peace?
PONYMAD VIEW: Perhaps a tad bloodthirsty, as it was really intended, not for the pony book market, but for Western-loving boy readers. However, the book was surprisingly enjoyable, even to a reader who is not exactly a Western fan! Ollie is a very sympathetic character and the descriptions of both wild horses and life on 'the range' are interesting. The book won the WWA Spur Award for best juvenile Western novel of 1953
PONYMAD RATING: 3 HORSESHOES
This actually had more printings in the UK than in its native America and is therefore easier to find in the UK than in the USA. The first edition is fairly elusive.