Judith O'Neill (1930-2006)

Australian author. Born in Melbourne in 1930, the descendant of British convicts and settlers from the Isle of Skye, a background which was to appear in her books many years later. She studied in both Melbourne and England and eventually settled in England with her husband and family, where she taught English. She did not begin to write until the 1980s when she gave up teaching. She wrote mainly for young adults and children, the books often being set in the historic Australia of her colourful ancestors. She also continued the theme in her non-fictional work about her convict forbears.

As far as I know only one of her books featured horses. This was also a historical story set in Australia, although as the author was living in England at the time it was actually published in the UK.

Horse & Pony Books:

Reprinted in paperback a couple of times by Methuen/Mammoth.
SUMMARY: Historical novel set in Australia at the turn of the century. When her mother is expecting a baby Sophie is sent to live with relations in the farming community at Stringybark Mill. At first she misses her old way of life, but soon begins to thrive, especially when she starts to work with the huge mill horses.

Collector's Info:
Despite the author's Australian origins and the setting of the book, this has been published in the UK only. The paperback is very easy to find here, the first edition a little bit rarer. Harder to get hold of elsewhere.