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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely blast from the past, 28 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: Jill's Gymkhana (Paperback)
I loved the Jill books when I was a child & after 45+ years I suddenly found a link to this book by accident & couldn't resist buying it as all my old Jill books fell apart from so much use. I was thrilled to find that this book is published with the original text (some of the newer versions updated the language to reflect modern times) as this was the text of my original books. I throughly enjoyed reading this again and found that my memory hadn't played tricks on me - Jill still seems an independent resourceful girl and I still found parts of it funny, just as I had when a pony mad girl all those years ago. I have to say I don't like the cover much, I would have preferred the original cover which would seem more in keeping with the period of the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best pony books ever!, 30 Oct. 2012
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I bought this book on a whim after a conversation with a friend on the books we used to read as teenagers. My whole world as a pony mad child revolved around ponies, stables, riding and getting mucky, and of course I read everything there was to read on the subject, this brought back fond memories of the Jill series of pony books so I decided as an equally pony/horse mad adult to see if they still had the same charm I remembered as a child. They do! I am now on the 4th book in the series of 9 and my partner thinks I have gone slightly bonkers.

The books follow the exploits of pony mad but broke Jill Crewe, her long suffering mother and her friends from age 11 right throughout their teenage years, from the sudden bit of good fortune that enabled her to purchase her first pony, through the trials, tribulations and sheer humiliation of learning to ride to running their own riding school and other exploits. These books are extremely well written, amusing and sometimes slightly tongue in cheek, especially when a terribly grown up 12 year old Jill refers to someone as "being in her 40's but not too old to enjoy herself"! As a 40 something going on 15 I found this very funny indeed.

These books have not been updated in the years since they were first published (1949 for Jill's Gymkhana) so some may find the diction slightly old fashioned but I think most pony mad youngsters these days wouldn't mind at all and would still find them wonderful.

I personally am looking forward to reading the remaining 5 books in the series, I may even go so far as to read under the quilt with a torch to really go back to my childhood!

For anyone wishing to purchase the series in order, they are:

Jill's Gymkhana, A Stable for Jill, Jill has two ponies (later republished as Jill and the Runaway), Jill enjoys her Ponies, Jill's Riding Club, Rosettes for Jill, Jill and the Perfect Pony, Pony Jobs for Jill (later republished as Challenges for Jill) and Jill's Pony Trek.

Enjoy the ride!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia!, 8 July 2012
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This review is from: Jill's Gymkhana (Paperback)
I couldn't believe this book was still available 45 years after I first read it.I'm halfway through re reading and enjoying every second. I loved these books as a child and am glad to report that this one at least is a s good as I remembered.Thanks to the publishers for reissuing this,I'll be ordering the others in the series too.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best pony series ever written, 11 Nov. 2003
By A Customer
I first read this series when I was 8 or 9 and 25 years later I still re-read it about once a year. Jill is completely realistic and hysterically funny, and I completely identified with her trials and tribulations in getting a pony and learning to ride.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jill's Gymkhana, 27 July 2012
By 
Clare O'Beara - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Jill's Gymkhana (Paperback)
While this is set some time ago, it is a good lead-in to pony books for pony-mad kids who haven't learnt to ride yet, and it can be quite funny as well as practical.
Jill and her mother are new to a cottage with a stable and field. Jill manages to buy a pony and tack from a nearby farmer, and then the two figure out how to put the tack on and up she gets to ride. Luckily the pony Black Boy is quiet and willing. There is little traffic so she can ride around lanes where she meets her nemesis Susan Pike who scorns her scruffy look and lack of know-how. Jill doesn't tell her mother but takes a look at herself, smartens herself up and gets riding lessons from a local gentleman who is in a wheelchair. At school she meets Ann who is a good friend with her own pony and the two start to compete in local gymkhanas (pony shows) with increasing success. Even the self-styled expert Susan has to watch out.
This was the first lone-parent family book I ever read, and the first to include a person in a wheelchair. People just looking at the pony aspect tend to forget how inclusive and ahead of its time the book was in that way. I can recommend it but teens may be bored because it is a little too simple for advanced readers.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a lovely read, 19 Jun. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Jill's Gymkhana (Paperback)
i have enjoyed this book since my eigth birthday. i have re-read it many times and still find it fun. The story of jills struggle to learn to ride and keep her pony black boy is brillliant to read and the book is quite comic too.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars jills gymkhana, 15 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Jill's Gymkhana (Paperback)
My favourite book as a child, read it so many times as well as the whole collection. Am now buying it for my friends daughters as I have sons!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Much-loved childhood favourite, 22 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Jill's Gymkhana (Paperback)
I had the entire set of Jill books as a pony-mad child, and wish I had never got rid of them. Luckily this new edition has allowed me to restart my collection.

This first instalment follows Jill as she yearns for a pony, gets a pony, then has many happy times and adventures with her beloved steed and friends. I really like the writing (although it is of its time, so can seem a bit 'jolly hockey sticks'!). As I look back now, it was such an influence on my own writing style throughout primary school!

I was so happy to re-read this. I have to say though, Jill's pony Black Boy will always be a piebald to me, as on the cover of my childhood copy, the pony was a piebald. I just can't imagine him as a solid black pony, as per this cover!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will stay with you forever, 4 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Jill's Gymkhana (Paperback)
Like some other reviewers, I first read this as a pony mad child. Now I've been a horse mad adult for many years and it still makes me laugh. The stories are set in a post war rural England that today's children may need a little explanation to understand, but the situation of an enthusiastic kid learning to ride is timeless. Jill is a vibrant and likeable character at odds with her setting in life. She takes on the snooty rich, equestrian know-it-alls and kids who are more interested in winning prizes than good horsemanship. The values of putting one's pony's comfort first and practising the basics over and over have stayed with me. Ferguson's masterstroke is the character Martin who becomes Jill's riding mentor. A disabled war veteran, he finds new purpose in passing on his equestrian knowledge and gives some male balance in a girls' story. A classic for all generations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood memories, 18 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Jill's Gymkhana (Paperback)
Just look at that title, you see I am the Jill concerned.....
I know the opening page to this book b heart as I had read it so many times as a child.

I LOVED these books as a child and was delighted to find these on Amazon. Have re-read the whole series and am currently reading them to my Niece.
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Jill's Gymkhana
Jill's Gymkhana by Ruby Ferguson (Paperback - 30 Oct. 2009)
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