When I was growing up, “Thelwell ponies” were part of the lexicon. Those fat, willful ponies with their determined young riders captured the imaginations of young and old equestrians.
Norman Thelwell (1923-2004) was a British illustrator who created the intrepid Penelope and her beloved pony Kipper. His first cartoon appeared in Punch in 1953 and while his cartoons addressed many areas of British country life, it was the Thelwell pony that hit a nerve on both sides of the pond.
Thelwell’s cartoons perfectly captured the relationship of girl and pony: adversarial on the small points yet full of love.
I hope that the current generation of young riders has the chance to appreciate the talent and humor of this amazing artist.