Showtym Adventures 5: Koolio, the Problem Pony
The fifth book in a bestselling junior fiction series inspired by true stories from the Wilson Sisters' childhoods. The chance of a lifetime — training a dream pony into a champion!
In the fifth Showtym Adventure, Kelly's new pony is gorgeous, talented and a whole world of trouble. Will he overcome his problems to reach his potential?
With Cameo sold to upgrade their family horse truck, 11-year-old Kelly has to find a new pony for just a fraction of the cost. Her troubled search ends when she meets Koolio. She is convinced the gorgeous grey is a champion in the making.
But Koolio also comes with some big problems. Within weeks poor Kelly battered and bruised and ready to give up on him. That is, until her big sister Vicki comes up with a plan that could change everything. Will Koolio get past his bad behaviour to become the winner Kelly and her sisters believe he can be?
This story of generosity and confidence restored is inspired by the Wilson Sisters’ early years.
Koolio was a 146cm grey gelding, who was six years old when he joined our family in 2001. He was one of the most talented and successful ponies we owned in our early years of competition and it’s only with hindsight that we have been able to appreciate how remarkable he was. His versatility wowed the judges and he would come home from every show with plenty of ribbons. Not only did he excel in the saddle hunter and hunter classes, but he also successfully competed un eventing, games, dressage competition and Pony Club.
Reviews from Readers
I confess I was never pony mad as a child and while my children have been on pony rides, they are definitely not the equestrian focused readers this book is aimed at. But I found plenty to love in this book, regardless.
This is Kelly’s story, and like the other books in the Showtym series, it’s a love letter to the ponies she and her sisters rode as youngsters. It follows the girls being asked to give up the ponies they’d trained for years so that the family could afford a bigger horse truck and attend more events. Kelly draws the short straw and has to part with her beloved pony. Luckily, she spots Koolio, a gorgeous grey in her price range who has the potential to be a real show stopper. But Kelly’s skills aren’t quite developed enough to handle Koolio’s temperament and she starts to lose any interest in riding.
We feel her heartbreak and despair, a real testament to Wilson’s telling of the events here. It’s only when her sister Vicki offers to trade ponies that Kelly finds her love for riding again. All the sisters learn some lessons about the importance of hard work before Kelly starts to win competitions. But it’s Koolio that comes through for Vicki when she takes out contest after contest. It’s a lovely addition to see the sisters' genuine love for each other shine through on the pages rather than the jealousy that could have eventuated.
The Wilson sisters are a true phenomenon. Smart, gorgeous and crazily talented. The stories in the Showtym Adventures series take us through events that occurred to the girls some years ago but with Kelly’s photographic memory, they are brought to life with vigour and attention. I initially questioned the incredible maturity of the characters in their ability to accept the hard decision to give up their ponies, but having learned more about this amazing family since reading the book, this does seem feasible.
Because of my lack of experience with horses I asked a friend who grew up with ponies and her kids to read it. Her 7-year-old son was engaged throughout and full of questions about how the girls must have lived. He was upset along with the Wilsons when they had to give up one of their ponies so it certainly created the emotional connection the author was looking for.
This will have huge appeal to children involved in pony club and show jumping from ages 7-12 years and as a read aloud for even younger children. It makes a wonderful addition to the growing catalogue of titles about the Wilson sisters adventures. - michele powles, www.thesapling.co.nz