ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Riders by Jilly Cooper: Classic 80's Fiction

Updated on January 21, 2019

Jilly Cooper's Riders: An International Bestseller

Published in 1985, Jilly Cooper's Riders is the first I read by this author and remains my favourite. I found Riders one summer in a charity shop and read it non stop until I had finished, I was hooked! Since then I have read all 8 in her series known as the Rutshire Chronicles, so called as they are based in the fictional English county of Rutshire.


This is a multi stranded tale about a tight knit group of top level riders within the world of show jumping, starring the handsome upper class scoundrel Rupert Campbell Black.

Set in the late 70's to early 80's, you are immersed in the glamorous personalities, their rivalries, romances and intense ambitions. You follow this group of talented show jumpers around the world as they compete, cumulating in a dramatic finish at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Jilly Cooper's Riders is a fantastic read, with plenty of drama, romance and sheer frivolous froth. Jilly Cooper preceded chick lit fiction, this is classic 80's bonkbusting blockbuster fiction at it's very best . The front cover of the book (right) says it all - cheeky naughty fun!

Warning! Riders is Raunchy!

Jilly Cooper is very direct and blunt with her love scenes and the language does veer to "R" rated! This is not what I would label erotic fiction, but it does contain adult content.

Riders is a book for adults!


Rupert Campbell Black - The Anti Hero in Jilly Cooper's Riders

Rupert Campbell Black is stunningly gorgeous!

He has everything - rich, upper-class and incredibly talented. He is ferociously competitive, ambitious and his thirst to succeed brings out the bad streak in his personality. Rupert is very promiscuous, arrogant and has a terrible temper. Rupert can be cruel to his horses, beating them up and sending them to stone pits when they are no longer useful. He treats his wife with very little respect.

Despite this, you will root for him at the very end and hope he will succeed against all the odds. Throughout the book you will be hoping Rupert's redemption will come!

In 1993 a mini series of Riders was created for ITV (British television) and the English actor Marcus Gilbert played Rupert. Marcus Gilbert is a handsome man, but not perfect - and Rupert is, in my mind and millions of other women's, exceptionally beautiful!

Jilly Cooper based Rupert Campbell Black on four different men, Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles (the former husband of Camilla Parker-Bowles), the Earl of Suffolk Michael Howard, Rupert Lycett Green and the Duke of Beaufort David Somerset. Jilly was quoted to say "They were a wildly dashing and exciting group, and their bravery and charisma were the essential elements of Rupert's character." The bad aspects of his personality were made up and of no reflection of these gentlemen. Read the full article about who Rupert is based on here from The Telegraph newspaper.

A Great Quote from Riders....

"Goodness, he was well constructed. Usually, men with such long legs had short bodies but Rupert, from the broad flat shoulders to the lean muscular hips and powerful thighs, seemed perfectly in proportion."

Sound Like a Good Read? Buy Jilly Cooper's Riders Here!

Other Key People in Riders - Jilly Cooper creates great characters!


Apart from Rupert Campbell Black the other two main male characters in Riders are:

Jake Lovell - Dark, brooding and mysterious, Jake Lovell is a half gypsy orphan who wears gold earrings and has a natural instinct with horses and women! His life and upbringing is very different to Rupert's and after being bullied mercilessly by Rupert as a child, he is out to seek revenge on Rupert professionally and personally.

Billy Lloyd Foxe - Smiling, jocular, laid back and very sweet, Billy is Rupert's best friend. Billy inspires loyalty in Rupert, who sticks by him through thick and thin - and vice a versa.

Around these key characters orbit their families, girlfriends, wives, team mates and competition. The rivalry between Jake Lovell and Rupert Campbell Black is the pivotal point to the plot and from this revolves the sub-plots between the other characters. Jilly Cooper is a master at seamlessly weaving all this together into one big adventurous romp through the Cotswold countryside and playgrounds of the rich and famous.

Jilly Cooper
Jilly Cooper | Source

A Great Jilly Cooper Quote

"The male is a domestic animal which, if treated with firmness and kindness, can be trained to do most things."

More Information about the Author, Jilly Cooper - The Queen of the Blockbuster Novel

Jilly Cooper was born in 1937 in Hornchurch, Essex (UK) and is married with two grown up children. She has written 19 novels and 27 non fiction books!

Jilly is a huge horse and dog lover, and animals play a central part in her novels. Jilly's books are often labelled as "fun trash". Personally I don't think they are. They are "bonkbusters" but are very well written and researched. Jilly Cooper has an engaging style, all the characters are interesting without exception - she has a talent for engrossing the reader. You read one book, and you will want to read them all!

Check out Jilly Cooper's website for more information.

Are You a Jilly Cooper Fan? - or do you prefer Jackie Collins?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      9 years ago

      my fav book was to read jilly coopers riders i could not put the book down as i started to read it i was addicted to it and the best book i have ever read and im looking forward to the next book :)

    • callinsky lm profile image

      callinsky lm 

      9 years ago

      This sounds like my kind of book. I really like the quotes that you have listed here. I'll have to check it out.

    • LadyFlashman profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Mickie Gee: YAY!!! Thank you so much! What a great surprise!

      Jilly Cooper is awesome, much better than Jackie Collins. I love Janet Evanovich too, but when is it ever going to end?

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Gee 

      9 years ago

      I have never read Jilly Cooper. Now that I am becoming bored with Janet Evanovich, I will give this author a try. Thanks for the review.

      Oh yes, I am giving you a Squid Angel Blessing today, too.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Featured today on SquidLit Reviews -

    • Kimsworld LM profile image

      Kimsworld LM 

      9 years ago

      I haven't read any books by Jilly Cooper, but it sounds like I might need to!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I didn't really know about this book, but you sure have created an enticing and well constructed review!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)