Patsey Gray aka Virginia Clark

Ms. Gray was extremely horsy. She rode from an early age and took part in, and won, numerous events. As an adult she lived on a ranch in California where she bred and showed palominos and quarter horses. Her four children also rode and competed. 

Her writing career was inspired by horses in more ways than one: she began writing when confined to bed after a riding accident! She wrote about the subjects she knew most about: horses and children! Over the years she penned a fair number of excellent pony books,, and also wrote one other non-pony fictional book called
Barefoot a Thousand Miles.

Additionally, Ms. Gray wrote a book under the name of Virginia Clark. I can now confirm, however, that the rumour that she also wrote under the name of Selma Hudnut is untrue.

Many thanks to Susan for helping with the series order and list of titles, also to Patsey Gray's grandson Mr. Coelho, for scotching the Selma Hudnut rumour!

Sources:
Jumping Jack by Patsey Gray.

Star Bright Series:

1) THE HORSE TRAP
(COWARD-McCANN 1962)
ILLUSTRATED BY SAM SAVITT
Very rare.
SUMMARY: Debbie, left alone in charge of her parents stable and horses gets trapped in a gorge with a in-foal mare when she takes it to the stream there to bathe its leg. This is more of a prequel to the other Star books, as Star just makes a brief appearance near the end of the book.

2) STAR BRIGHT
(NORTON 1964)
Reprinted as a paperback by Young Readers Press.
SUMMARY: Debbie's horse Star Bright is always getting into mischief. Her mother threatens to sell him unless he can prove himself useful on the ranch.

3) STAR LOST
(NORTON 1965)
Reprinted as a paperback by Young Readers Press.
SUMMARY: Star becomes lost when Debbie is on a camping trip with her friend. Will she ever see her beloved horse again?

4) LUCKY STAR
(NORTON 1967)
SUMMARY: Deb becomes a matchmaker when she fears her friend and stableman Mr. Bailey will leave if her mother does not agree to marry him.

5) STAR THE SEAHORSE
(NORTON 1968)
Fairly rare.
SUMMARY: Deb goes to visit her friend by the sea.

Collectors Info:
The first in series is the hardest to find and can be very expensive to buy, the others are a bit easier, but only in the USA. Elsewhere they are rarely seen.

Other Horse & Pony Books:

HEADS UP
(COWARD-McCANN 1944 1956)
ILLUSTRATED BY LEONARD SHORTALL
Reprinted in hardback.
Reprinted in paperback by
SUMMARY: Set on the show/rodeo circuit. Orphan Peggy is unhappy with her foster family and the unscrupulous man she rides for, but her bond with the Appaloosa Chief and her friendship with the colourful Tucker family, give her hope.
PONYMAD RATING: 3 HORSESHOES

DOGGONE ROAN
(COWARD-McCANN 1957)
ILLUSTRATED BY PAUL FRAME?
Rare, extremely so with dust jacket.
SUMMARY: Set on the US racing circuit. Babe helps her father with their QH racer Strawberry but when an accident injures her father and Strawberry, they may have to give up racing.

GALLOPING GOLD
(COWARD-McCANN 1958)
ILLUSTRATED BY LEONARD SHORTALL
Rare.
SUMMARY: Sue sets off to a horse show to see Pal, a palomino colt  she once owned. She hopes to buy him back but he is now a very valuable animal.

4-H FILLY
(COWARD-McCANN 1958)
ILLUSTRATED BY LEONARD SHORTALL
Very rare.
SUMMARY: When the family ranch is not doing well financially, Sandy is worried she may have to sell her horse Dove. Can she help restore the ranch's finances?

CHALLENGER
(COWARD-McCANN 1959)
ILLUSTRATED BY SAM SAVITT
(1ST UK EDITION DENT 1960)
Very rare.
SUMMARY: Ellie tries to teach her friend Pam to ride on her horse Challenger.

HORSE IN HER HEART
(COWARD-McCANN 1960)
ILLUSTRATED BY SAM SAVITT
Very rare
SUMMARY: Carol must accept that her cantankerous and spoilt horse Skipper needs firm handling and training. A trip to France helps her.

DIVING HORSE
(COWARD-McCANN 1960)
Fairly rare
SUMMARY: Annie trains her horse Spotty to do a diving act at the fair but begins to worry about it.
PONYMAD RATING: 4 HORSESHOES

LOCO THE BRONC
(COWARD-McCANN 1961)
ILLUSTRATED BY SAM SAVITT
Rare, extremely so with dust jacket.
SUMMARY: When Loco the bucking horse is left behind by the rodeo due to his sickness, Lynn cares for him and hopes to make him her own.

SHOW RING ROGUE
(COWARD-McCANN 1963)
ILLUSTRATED BY SAM SAVITT
Fairly rare
SUMMARY: A girl recovering from polio is too self conscious to enter shows due to the leg brace she has to wear. The horse Rogue also refuses to enter a show ring. Together the two find their problems resolved.

JUMPING JACK
(NORTON 1965)
Reprinted as a paperback by Young Readers Press.
SUMMARY: Jill loves riding Jack and has a great chance of winning a prestigious jumping trophy with him. But when a nasty bullying man takes over the riding club everything changes for Jill and Jacků
PONYMAD RATING: 4 HORSESHOES

NORAH'S ARK
(NORTON 1966)
SUMMARY: Norah and Karl are trapped by a flood and discover that a group of animals including an Arabian mare and her foal are also trapped. Can they look after them until help arrives?

HORSEPOWER
(NORTON 1966)
Reprinted in paperback by Young Readers Press
SUMMARY: Story set on the California show circuit. Diane rides for a top stable and sister Honey works as a groom there. When Honey's favourite horse Olympic loses form, Honey is worried the barn's owner will sell him.
PONYMAD RATING: 3 HORSESHOES

BLUE RIBBON SUMMER
(NORTON 1968?)
SUMMARY: Set on the US show circuit. Jean is looking for forward to a summer winning rosettes with her hunter. But her nose is put out of joint by a younger more talented rider.

THE FLAG IS UP
(NELSON 1970)
One of the easier ones to find (in the US) although harder with jacket.
SUMMARY: Set on the California racing circuit. When Pablo is left with the care of an injured horse, both his ex-trainer Grandfather and the trainer father of his friend become interested in the horse as a potential champion.

DOUBLE STANDARDS
(ACE TEMPO PB 1983)
Reprinted in paperback.
The most easily found of her titles.
SUMMARY: When Sis' father is accused of fraud, she goes to work on her uncle's farm to get away from all the trouble. There she falls in love with a grey horse called Gull and starts to successfully jump him in local shows. Just before she is due to jump Gull in a prestigious show she finds out that one of the ranch hands has been up to no good. She must choose to expose the man and risk Gull's chances or keep quiet, and suddenly understands that there is a thin line between truthfulness and deceit.
PONYMAD RATING: 3 HORSESHOES

Collectors Info:
Some of these titles were reprinted as paperbacks. As far as I know only Challenger was published in the UK. None of them are easy to find any where but in the USA. However even there some of the titles are rare to very rare. The easiest ones to find are Double Standards, Jumping Jack, The Flag is Up and Heads Up.
The rarest ones of the lot are
Challenger, Horse in Her Heart and 4H Filly and these will probably be quite expensive to buy.

Horse & Pony Books as Virginia Clark:

THE MYSTERIOUS BUCKSKIN
(MACMILLAN 1960)
SUMMARY: Anne and Ken set off on a trail ride in the Sierras with a trio of pleasure riders. Ann is hoping the money will help her family's stable's shaky finances. But troubles abound and there is also the mysterious wild buckskin horse which looks just like her own Frosty who disappeared 2 years earlier.

Collectors Info:
Fairly easy to find in the USA. Quite hard to find elsewhere.