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Can Parker live up to the challenge?
Parker Townsend couldn't be more excited as he sets off for England to train for the Olympics, taking with him two headstrong horses and some very high hopes. At first he's thrilled to see the beautiful country estate where he'll be staying. But it's not too long before he discovers that the English do things very differently from what he's used to. Since he's a guest, he has to listen to whatever his trainers say, no matter how much he ...
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Can Parker live up to the challenge?
Parker Townsend couldn't be more excited as he sets off for England to train for the Olympics, taking with him two headstrong horses and some very high hopes. At first he's thrilled to see the beautiful country estate where he'll be staying. But it's not too long before he discovers that the English do things very differently from what he's used to. Since he's a guest, he has to listen to whatever his trainers say, no matter how much he disagrees with them. Although Parker worries that this could jeopardize his Olympic Dream, he determined to find a way to prove to everyone, including himself, that he and his horses are Olympic caliber after all.
Parker Townsend and his two, headstrong horses are training in England, for entry into the Olympics. He is determined to overcome all hurdles to prove that he and his horses are of Olympic calibre.
Eighteen-year-old Parker Townsend blinked at the sudden camera flash and jumped back, his heart beating wildly. It was Friday evening, and he had just stepped through the door of Samantha Nelson's house after finishing up his last riding lesson of the day.
One of his favorite pupils, Kaitlin Boyce, was standing in the center of a crowd of Parker's students and his friends from Whitebrook, grinning widely. "Ha. We knew you didn't have a clue what we were whispering about in the tack room," she said triumphantly. Kaitlin thrust a package into Parker's hands as she corralled him into the Nelsons' cozy family room. It was decorated festively with red, white, and blue streamers and balloons. A gold banner with the words CHEERIO, PARKER! was draped across the doorway.
"Here. We all chipped in and got you a present for your trip to England," Kaitlin bubbled. "Guess what it is!"
Parker took the brightly wrapped package and smiled at his friends. "Oh, c'mon. You know I'm no good at guessing."
Seating himself on the hearth, he began to shake the package. "Hmmm. It's too small to be a horse ... " he said, wiggling his eyebrows.
Several of the younger kids giggled.
"You don't need a new one," said ten-year-old Justin, who rode at the novice level on a horse named Bouncer. "You've already got two of the best eventing horses around -- Foxy and Ozzie."
Parker nodded. "Well, you know I'll always agree with you about Foxy. I mean, she just happens to be the most perfect Thoroughbred there ever was." Parker paused, and several of his students giggled again. "But Ozzie? Well, let's just sayhe's got a ways to go eventingwise."
"Yeah, but he sure can jump!" Kaitlin put in almost prayerfully, then added, "Uh, that is, when he wants to."
"You can say that again," said Sam with a wry smile. "If Parker can get him to jump the way he did back when he won the Nations Cup, that'll be the key."
"Well, Ozzie hasn't forgotten how to jump, that's for sure," Tor Nelson, Sam's husband, said as he entered the room. "He's managed to spring out of every paddock at Whisperwood. I hope he's not giving the guys at the stable in England too hard a time."
Foxy and Ozzie had been shipped to England a few days earlier and were now awaiting his arrival. Parker couldn't believe how much he missed his horses. Luckily his uncle Paul, who lived outside of London, had been able to keep them at his racing stable, and a groom who worked for Jack Dalton, one of England's premier eventing instructors, was staying with them until Parker could take over.
"I talked to Dalton's groom this morning. He says both Foxy and Ozzie are adjusting to the English climate pretty well," Parker said. He didn't add that Thomas had mentioned something about Ozzie being "rah-thah larky." Parker guessed that larky was probably the British equivalent of lively.
"Blah, blah, blah. Just open the present!" chimed in Penny, an eight-year-old girl who rode a large pony named Chili.
Parker's friend Kevin McLean shot Parker a mischievous look. "We got you one of those electronic translators so you can understand what the Brits are saying to you," he joked. Kevin's father was the head trainer at Whitebrook, a Thoroughbred breeding and training farm near Whisperwood.
Kaitlin rolled her eyes. "Kevin, you know perfectly well they speak plain old English in England!"
Sam started ladling punch into paper cups. "Hmmm, Kaitlin, I wouldn't be too quick to say that. You know I lived in Ireland. Know what a jumper is?"
Kaitlin smirked. "Duh!"
Sam grinned. "No, it's not just a horse who leaps a fence. It's a British term for sweater. And do you know what a serviette is?" She handed Kaitlin a napkin to go under her paper cup. "It's a British term for napkin."
"Well," Melanie Graham added, "Parker went to school in England. He knows everything there is to know about Brit-speak." Melanie lived at Whitebrook with her cousin, Christina Reese, who was seated across the room, watching the festivities quietly.
"Oh, just open the present already," Kaitlin urged.
Parker tore away the wrapping and opened a box that contained a pair of highly polished black paddock boots. He let out a low whistle and held them up for everyone to see. "Wow," he said softly. "Thanks, everybody."
"You really like them?" Penny asked, a red mustache from her fruit punch staining her face.
"You bet," Parker said, standing up and walking over to give her a quick hug. "My old ones were pretty thrashed. I just put fresh duct tape on them this morning."
"Well, we couldn't have you crossing the pond and representing America wearing boots covered with duct tape," added Christina, who was Parker's ex-girlfriend.
"You know, what a spit-and-polish guy Captain Donnelly is. Jack Dalton is probably just as picky."
Captain Mark Donnelly, the chef d'equipe of the Olympic team, had arranged the grant for Parker to travel to the UK to ride with Dalton.
Parker tried not to think about what Christina had said. He had already worried too much about measuring up to the legendary Jack Dalton's expectations. More than anything, Parker wanted to prove himself internationally and earn a spot on the next Olympic team. It was too late to be selected for the current year's Olympic team, but Parker had learned that life was a lot like jumping -- he had to look ahead to the next fence. Performing well in England was the next hurdle he had to get over if he ever wanted to wear the colors of the United States Equestrian Team.Thoroughbred #55: Great Expectations. Copyright © by Joanna Campbell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Posted October 10, 2006
Finally, some guy characters. I mean, Ashleigh and the rest are okay, but, we need some men, too? I mean, men compete, too. And I loved this book. I've been to England before, but never tried the jumping courses. And it would be pretty cool if you worked on a famous stable with two great showers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 4, 2003
i loved this book and as soon as they said that they had a snobish granddaughter i know it was the girl from the plane!! i am really glad parker figure out how to get ozzie to jump!! i really like ozzie am felt bad whem foxy got hurt but fiona should not have trided to cover it up and told parker!! well g2g EmilyWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 15, 2003
parker looks like a little kid on the cover and ozzie looks like a kids hunter jumper on close call that was cool art with deatil it wouls have 5 stars if it wasnt for the coverWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 8, 2003
Posted November 18, 2002
Posted September 29, 2002
when i got this book the cover was horrible i can draw better than that. What happened to the art of the cover of #41Close Call? Anyway i liked the book. Thats all i have to sayWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 2, 2002
Ok guys,I got grounded[don't ask how]and my oh so loving mother said I can't get the book till shes ready,which pretty much means she will get in the next leap year.So pleaseeeeeeeee,if any of you out there have read the book,please give some hints on what happened.For the sake of your fello TB fans sanity.P.S.And just tell me Yes or No if something happens with Chris and Parker[which definitly needs to get heated up].I am at your mercy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sincerly yours, Sydney><Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 20, 2002
Okay, I just got this book in the mail today and am dying to read it, but the first thing I noticed when I looked at it was the cover art is terrible! Trust me, I'm an amatur artist and even I can draw better than that! Whoever did the cover art for Close Call was the best. Anways, I really hope this seris gets back on track and that they finally get to the derby. This is starting to get really frustrating. We don't want to know about Parker right now. I totally agree with what Annie said about the changes that can be made in the series. You hit the nail on the head! Plus, the horses need some more personality. They're all the same. If only they hadn't written the 'horse of her dreams'..Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 24, 2002
Well,this book does have potential.It has a new plot[Parker going to England]and has the oppertunity to have new charcters,and have new situations ,now it all depends on what the writers do with it.They can either make this book a another drag,or they can write it up to its full potential and have a great book,with a realalsic story line..It does sound exciting though,with Parker going off somewhere new,I just hope they have him meet a girl like Chris met Aaron.Anyway,I hope they make this book different then the others,but no matter what happens I for one will remain forever and always a loyal TB fan.[But they had better start adding some realisime]Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 28, 2002
Sorry guys, but she's right. A reviewer (firstname.lastname@example.org) said that this wasn't the Derby, it was about Parker. And she was right. No, I didn't hear it from one of the authors, but I did read about it on the Harper Collins website (www.harpercollins.com). That's the publisher of all of the Thoroughbred books. All you have to do to read about it in detail is click on 'title' in the top right hand corner and type in 'Great Expectations.' There it gives you the publisher's review, and in this book, it's all about Parker. Sorry to break it to you guys. I was really hoping for the Derby in the book. (Oh yeah, and Great Expectations does seem like the title for a Derby book, and you'd think that if you didn't look into it.)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 11, 2002
OK,I am not making any statements about whether this book is good or not.Cindy's Last Hope was a major improvement in getting better plots,because I have to say,the ones with Chris and Mel were getting really,really old,and really unrealstic.There are a couple of things I would like to see happen in this book.1.I would like them to put Parker in different situations,with different people.2.I would like them to make this book more alive and keep the story going,as well as have a little romance in it too.I would also like them to put Parker working with Foxy and Ozzie in a different way,with new promblems and not the same ones.That was what was wrong with the books about Chris and Star.They renamed the title of the book,but kept the same plot,and problems.The only thing they did was change the title.I also hope they put new charcters,and have something with Parker and Chris,though I kinda doubt they will.Anyway,I think with the right plot,this book MAYBE,[as in possibly]could be good,and turn the sereis around.But I will say,these are probally one of the best horse series I have ever read,and I don't think it will ever compare to Heartland,Saddle Club,or the PineHollow series.I like Heartland a whole lot,but I just wished they had more on riding,and PineHollow is a total joke.If I wanted a soap opera,I could just whatch the Young and the Restless,I wouldn't have to read about it in PineHollow.Well,I hope you guys keep reading TB,and they keep making books!!!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 29, 2002
I think this book is going to be the Kentucky Derby one! The title sounds like whoever wins the Derby will have great expectations.And for all you peeps who r sayin' that the TB books are gettin borin well u r freakin idiots! They're still awesome books!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 28, 2002
Well,this book sounds great.I hope Parker gets a girl in this one,and theres more on is realationship with his parents.And I hope he starts getting better at jumping.I mean,its like no matter how good he gets,they always look at Lyssa or somebody else.Anyway,I can't wait to get this book,I just hope he and Christina get back together.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 3, 2002
I am really exceited about getting this book. I live in england so if I want a TB book I have to orda it wich sucks but at least I can get them!! I kinda known that this book wasn't gonna be about the Derby since it first said that it was being written.I haven't got this book yet but I can't wait till it gets here!! I looked on the Harper Collins website and it said it was about how Parker gets all weirded about how they train in England. Hey people who live in America do you train different to us? Anyway this is gonna be a way cool book I can just feel it !It says paerker takes 2 horses to england so he must of taken Ozzie!!! I love Ozzie he is well cute. I really hope Lyssa's there to, I really like her, sometimes they overdo how good she is and all but she seems well nice. The other thing about Lyssa that I like is how she is soo cool about people makin nasty coments bout her. Like when she heard the Townsends talkin bout her, she realy told them off, and when Pareker was bein all jealous and snobby she got of him no fuss just a few harp good words, I love it !!!!! I realy can't believe that P and Chris broke up, and that whole Mel and Jazz thing is kinda unbelieveabvle. Back to P and C I don't see how they broke up, I mean i understand the whole never seein each other and P bein all single minded, but they always make the best couples split up. Mel and Kevin, Parker and Chris were just the perfect double daters . I personally think they are probably the two best suited couples in the whole TB series ( except for Ashleigh and Mike, Sammy and Tor ) Oh I can't wait till I get this book, OI'm practically screaming with frustration anyway I just can't wait till i get this book!!! se yaWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 25, 2002
These books are awesome. If you dont like them now your not a true fan! I mean they have brought back the people and horses we wanted so obviously they do read reviews! I Mean i even like the books when they were doing cross country etc... I only wish we knew what happened to Max, and Glory... I cannot believe Parker and Christina broke up!! i mean that was an awesome match! especially since it pissed off the townsends, but just cuz.. and i mean i got mad when mel and kevin broke up.. now this? and finally will u ppl admit that ben and cindy are going out..... in the last book she refers to him as her boss or ben..... but u knoe somethins going on...... anyway thats it, the books are awesome even with what i said!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 25, 2002
Nope. The Derby isn't until #57. I've had that knowledge for ages, straight from an author's mouth. This book is about Parker going off to England, and Hoofprints in the Snow, the next book, is probably a companion too it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.