Reader Reviewed The Racehorse Who Wouldn't Gallop by Clare Balding

The Racehorse Who Wouldn't Gallop

Written by Clare Balding
Illustrated by Tony Ross

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

October 2016 MEGA Debut of the Month | In a nutshell: follow your dreams | Young readers will gallop through Clare Balding’s utterly delightful book – in fact, they’ll be smiling from the very first sentence. Steeped in farm and family life and full of fascinating details from the world of horse racing too, it’s the rags to riches story of Charlie who buys the racehorse no-one else wants and goes on to enter him in the Derby. With a terrific cast of characters, animal and human, it’s a properly heart-warming story. Noble Warrior isn’t the only one to prove what he’s made of thanks to the support of those who believe in him; Charlie too finds the confidence to ignore her brothers’ taunts about her thighs, and even persuades them to work as part of her team. Heaven in a feed-bucket for pony-mad readers, this will win everyone’s heart!
To read about more determined, lively pony-mad heroines see the Jinny series by Patricia Leitch, Olivia Tuffin’s Palomino Pony books and the One Dollar Horse by Lauren St John, or classic National Velvet by Enid Bagnold. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Isabel, age 9 - 'A really great book that I thoroughly enjoyed, more please!'
  • Amina Hassan, age 10 - 'Astounding and astonishing.  I loved this book, the suspense was about you join Charlie, face her problem with her and cheer her on in this great book. It'll be fun I promise.'
  • Caye Gould - 'Charlie dreams of winning the Epsom Derby with her horse, Noble Warrior. A beautifully written story with an underlying message, if you want something and work hard at it you can achieve your dream.'
  • Daniel Bisland, age 9 - 'What is so special about the horse? Why doesn’t he gallop? Who is naughty Percy? How does Charlie become famous? If you like watching the Derby and horse racing, this is the book for you.'
  • Emily Yates, age 10 - 'An easy enjoyable read with fun characters and a lovely theme - don't give up on your dreams!' 
  • Arun Jethwa, age 11 – Blenheim Primary School 'Great read - fun and humorous throughout! 9/10'
  • Esmee Oliver, age 8 - 'This book is funny and easy to read....  I think this book would appeal to people who like horses and those who enjoy a good laugh.'
  • Saffron, age 11 - 'This is a very good story and I like the storyline'
  • Martha Cox, age 7 - 'Exciting and funny story - not just for horse lovers. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends.'
  • Mia Goodman, age 10 - 'A great, hilarious read. It is easy to understand and the wording is simple so I would recommend it to young readers.'
  • Annie Sherratt, age 11 - 'This is a perfect book for any horse mad person - like me. I really enjoyed it and the characters in this story are great.... There is lots of courage, determination and perseverance in this amazing book.'
  • Ava Townsend, age 6 - 'A story about a young girl, Charlie, and her desire to own a horse. Who better written by than ex-jockey Clare Balding!'  

Win a proof copy of Clare Baldings fantastic debut novel!

**Stop press! We have 3 shiny LIMITED EDITION gold proof copies of Clare Balding's hotly anticipated children's debut novel to give away!

To have a chance of winning one of these great prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

Draw closes on 3 November 2016. The winners will be notified by 18 November 2016.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 03/11/2016


The Racehorse Who Wouldn't Gallop by Clare Balding

Charlie Bass is a horse-mad ten-year-old who dreams of owning her own pony. So when she accidentally manages to buy a racehorse, Charlie is thrilled. The horse she buys, Noble Warrior, looks the part: strong, fit and healthy. There's just one problem - he won't gallop. In fact, he won't even leave his stable without his best friend, a naughty palomino pony called Percy.

Charlie is convinced that Noble Warrior has what it takes to be a champion. But can she prove it? Derby Day is fast approaching and only a win can save the family farm from being repossessed. The stakes couldn't be higher for the Basses.

Can Charlie turn her chaotic family into a top training team? Can Noble Warrior overcome his nerves? Will Percy the pony ever stop farting?

Find out in this classic, funny animal story, perfect for fans of Dick King-Smith and Gerald Durrell.


A heart-warming story with a great girl-power message - Jacqueline Wilson

About the Author

Clare Balding

Clare Balding's first book, My Animals and Other Family, was a runaway number one bestseller and won the Autobiography of the Year at the 2012 Specsavers National Book Awards. Her subsequent book, Walking Home was also a Sunday Times Bestseller. Clare has been a broadcaster on TV and radio for over twenty years. She has covered a range of events including five summer Olympics, four Paralympics, four Winter Olympics, three Commonwealth Games and twenty-one Grand Nationals. In 2012 she won a BAFTA special award for her work on the London Olympics and Paralympics. She also won Presenter of the Year at the Royal Television Society Awards, Sports Broadcaster of the Year from the Sports Journalists Association and awards from Red, Attitude, TRIC, Women in Film and TV and Glamour magazine. In 2013 she received an OBE for services to broadcasting and journalism and in February 2016, Clare will be presented with the prestigious Media Society Annual Award.

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Book Info


256 pages
Interest Age: From 7


Clare Balding
More books by Clare Balding

Author's Website


Puffin an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

22nd September 2016




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