Robert E. Gard (1910-1992)

Robert Edward Gard was a prominent author, professor, educator and researcher. He was born in Iola, Kansas in 1910. He taught playwriting at the Universities of Kansas, Cornell and Wisconson as well as lecturing in Finland and the UK. He conducted research too, being especially interested in folklore, and worked as an editor for Duell, Sloan and Pearce. He was also instrumental in setting up a number of literary bodies such as the Wisconsin Regional Writers Association, the Council for Wisconsin Writers, The Wisconsin Ideas Theatre and the Rhinelander School of Arts. Today the Gard Foundation continues his work as a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering the arts.

In spite of all this activity he also managed to find time to publish a number of books which included adult fiction and non-fiction and children's/young adult novels. Some of his children's books featured horses. All were aimed more towards boy readers with male heroes and a slant towards rodeo/ranch life.

Mr. Gard additionally wrote under the pen name of Gwen Kimball.

The Gard Foundation website includes a more detailed biography of the author plus a complete bibliography. (See link).

Horse & Pony Books:

MIDNIGHT RODEO CHAMPION
(DUELL, SLOANE & PEARCE  [USA] 1951)
ILLUSTRATED BY C. W. ANDERSON
SUMMARY: Sandy's black ranch horse becomes a champion rodeo bucker.

A HORSE NAMED JOE
(LITTLE  [USA] 1956)
ILLUSTRATED BY C. W. ANDERSON
SUMMARY: Sammy was jailed for a crime he did not commit. Now out of prison, he tries to keep his head down and only spend time with his horse Joe. But then a girl called Jean asks his help with a long distance ride….

SCOTTY'S MARE
(DUELL, SLOANE & PEARCE  [USA] 1957)
ILLUSTRATED BY AARON BOHROD
SUMMARY: Scotty trades in his heifer for a thin Thoroughbred mare called Trip, much to his father's displeasure. But Scotty is sure he can make something of the horse.

RUN TO KANSAS
(DUELL, SLOANE & PEARCE  [USA] 1958)
ILLUSTRATED BY ALAN MOYLER
SUMMARY: Tom Butler is forced to flee on horseback to Kansas after a fight.

DEVIL RED
(DUELL, SLOANE & PEARCE  [USA] 1963)
ILLUSTRATED BY
SUMMARY: When his friend Joe is killed in a rodeo bucking contest, Paul plans revenge by killing the horse responsible. But when he sees that the horse is terrified he finds he cannot do it.

Collector's Info:
I don't think any of these were ever reprinted. In the USA, none of the titles are common, but none are extremely hard to find either. A Horse Named Joe is probably the rarest and usually more expensive than the others. All are hard to find outside of the States.