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Real Life Show Horse to Children’s Book Character: Lauren Stanley Brings ‘Rooster’ to Children Everywhere


A new storybook featuring an endearing horse and his journey to find his self-confidence is making its way to children’s bookshelves across the country. Rooster the Red Roany Pony was created by a member of our horse show community, Lauren Stanley, portraying the life of her show partner AQHA gelding Extremely Good Stuff.

Rooster, as he is affectionately known, possesses a loving and curious personality, which makes him the perfect character to inspire young minds. Rooster is kind, willing, and extremely talented but a sometimes timid horse. These traits have provided endless moments of joy and laughter for Lauren, compelling her to spread his happiness through a book.

“Rooster is the perfect horse to teach kids about believing in themselves: he is more talented than he gives himself credit for and has grown so much over the past few years, just as a child would grow through their lifetime,” Lauren explained. “It has been fun to watch him mature and to be able to share stories about his growth.”

Rooster the Red Roany Pony details Rooster’s early life; explaining from how he received his name (a true story thanks to Ashley & Kenny Lakins) to how he was insecure at a young age but learned to overcome his fears to eventually win a World Championship (which he did with Bruce Vickery aboard in Trail).

In the book, Rooster participates in dancing competitions, which would be Trail in real life. When asked why she chose to call it dance, Lauren explained, “when creating the Rooster book, I wanted to keep it as true to form as possible. However, I realized to reach a broader audience that most people would have no idea about competition Trail. When I try to explain Trail to my friends, I usually compare it to dancing, so I decided to call Rooster’s sport dance to make it relatable to all.”

Lauren partnered with Maggie Harding to use her expertise as an artist to illustrate Rooster’s book.  “I really enjoyed translating Rooster’s fun-loving personality from real life to his character illustrations. Lauren’s passion for horses and her love for Rooster made it an easy team to jump on board with,” Harding said. Maggie did an excellent job of bringing Rooster’s pages to life in the various scenes.

What do Lauren and Maggie have planned for the future? “We would love to expand the Rooster series. Maggie is incredible to work with, so it makes sense to continue. I already have a draft for a book about when he first came to my house and had to stay in a pasture next to cows. That was a comical experience,” Lauren said with a laugh.  “Rooster is certainly a lovable character, and I’m excited to share more of his tales.”

Lauren plans to continue showing Rooster in the All-Around events this year. These are new to him, so they are bound to provide excellent material for future books. “I like every book to have a moral to it. We can learn so much from our horses if we take the time to listen to them,” Lauren concluded.

We are looking forward to watching the Rooster series expand, as well as continuing to watch Rooster grow in the show arena.

To purchase Rooster the Red Roany Pony click here.

To learn more about Rooster and find coloring pages click here.

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