Frank C. Robertson (1890-1969)

Frank Chester Robertson was an American author of a huge number of cowboy novels. The line between horse novel and pure Western is sometimes hard to draw, but one of his stories - Sagebrush Sorrel - is by anyone's standards, a children's pony book. He may have written more stories which were primarily horse centred but I do not know enough about his other novels to know for sure. If you have read any of his books which you consider should be classed as horse stories rather than westerns please let me know!

Frank was born in Idaho in 1890. As a child he helped out his family by herding sheep, and as an adult he had his own farms in both Idaho and Utah.

He has won awards for his books and was elected president of the Western Writers of America in 1959. He has written over 150 books, which include non-fiction and a popular biography as well as his trademark westerns.

Horse & Pony Books:

(1st edition NELSON [USA] 1953)
(1st UK edition COLLINS 1955)
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

Collector's Info:
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.

Books about the author:

(1st edition ABERLARD PRESS [USA] 1950)
Reprinted a number of times in the USA in hardback and paperback.
Most recent edition appears to be the University of Idaho Press edition dated 1994.
EDITION PICTURED: Hastings House hardback reprint
SUMMARY: Autobiography - mainly concentrating on the author's pioneer childhood in the 1890s.

Collector's Info:
I don't think there was ever a British edition published. It is fairly easy to find in the USA, but harder elsewhere.