Now that she has the horse of her dreams, Christina Reese is more determined than ever to enter high-level competitions. There's only one problemher horse, Sterling Dream, isn't cooperating.
Christina thought she had a close bond with Sterling, but now the mare refuses to do anything Christina asks. She balks at jumping even the lowest fences! Christina doesn't know what to do. If Sterling 's behavior doesn't improve, this may be the end of their riding career!
Whether jumping a cross-country course, galloping a powerful racehorse, or just riding on the trails, only one thing matters Christina and her friends: the special bond between horse and rider. If you love horses, then you'll love reading all the books in the Thoroughbred series.
About the Author
Joanna Campbell appears here with her six-year-old Thoroughbred, Meyersville Magic, known around the barn as CC. He's a son of Horatius out of Northwich by Timothy's Champ and is owned by Cathy Day. Formerly trained for racing, he is now being trained for eventing. Last Year he was the Maine Entry Level Champion in Combined Training.
Read an Excerpt
Thoroughbred #27 Christina's Courage
By Joanna Campbell
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Joanna Campbell
All right reserved.
Christina Reese lay in bed and stared up at the flowered wallpaper, pink curtains, and white canopy bed she'd had since she was six. It all looked so babyish now. Except for two gigantic horse posters that she loved, she was ready to tear the room apart and redecorate.
Stretching, she kicked off the sheet. The sun was already streaming through the window, so Christina knew she'd slept later than usual. This summer had been so hot she'd been getting up extra early to ride her horse, Sterling Dream, in the cool morning hours. But today she felt like being lazy.
Suddenly, her bedroom door flew open with a bang. "Ta da!" Melanie Graham, Christina's cousin, stood posed in the doorway, her arms raised as if she'd finished a cheer.
"So, what do you think?" Melanie asked as she tipped her head from side to side. Her short, light blond hair was streaked with rainbow colors.
"You look like a cone of rainbow sherbet," Christina said. Sitting up, she swung her bare feet to the floor.
Melanie had been living at Christina's house since the beginning of the summer, and Christina still wasn't used to having someone her age around all the time, much less barging into her room. Not that she didn't like Melanie, but sometimes hercrazy cousin from New York City was too much.
Melanie pouted. "That's all you have to say? I mean, it took forever. I had to clip back each section of hair so when I poured on the Kool-Aid the colors wouldn't run into each other. You ought to try it on your hair."
"No way." Christina ran her fingers through her tousled strawberry-blond mop. Bending, she searched for the jeans she'd thrown on the floor the night before. "You didn't have anything better to do, like pony horses or muck out a stall?"
"I did that already while you were sleeping," Melanie said pointedly. "It's after ten o'clock, you know."
"Well, I was doing important things like wondering what to do with this stupid room." Christina waved her arm. "It's too babyish."
"It is kind of juvenile." Cocking her head, Melanie looked around the room. "A few posters of the Headknockers would spice the place up." Her gaze swung back to Christina, who was pulling her jeans from under the bed. "How come you're not riding this morning?"
"I've got a lesson later, and I didn't want to tire out Sterling before then. We've got a lot of work to do this summer if we're going to move from novice to training level."
Christina competed in combined training, a sport often called eventing. Beginning eventers rode in novice and training-level horse trials that usually included dressage, stadium jumping, and cross-country jumping.
"You're thinking about moving up already?" Melanie sounded surprised. "I mean, you just competed in your first horse trial."
"I know. And it proved Sterling and I are ready." Christina pulled on her jeans, then hunted around for her USCTA T-shirt.
"Just because you and Sterling won doesn't mean you're ready for the big fences."
"We didn't win it. The team did. And I've been jumping three-six all spring, so training-level fences won't seem hard at all." She finally found her T-shirt under a pile of clothes on her desk chair. On the front it had a silk-screen design of a horse jumping a huge Swedish oxer.
She grabbed it and went into the adjoining bathroom. The pink bathroom, she noted as she pulled off her nightshirt. Weren't almost eighth graders too old for pink?
"I guess. And you and Sterling did have the best score," Melanie called from the other room.
"Right." Christina smiled at the memory. Despite the sloppy weather and Christina's just-healed broken wrist, she and Sterling had done a great job.
Christina slid on her T-shirt, then stared at her reflection in the mirror. Hazel eyes surrounded by thick lashes stared back at her, and her hair stuck out every which way. She looked almost as wild as Melanie.
Grabbing her brush, she yanked it through the tangled mess as if she were combing out Sterling's thick tail. Sterling Dream. Sometimes she still couldn't believe the gorgeous gray mare was hers.
Before Christina bought her, Sterling had been a racehorse. But the mare's heart hadn't been in racing -- just like Christina's heart wasn't in racing, even though her parents owned one of the finest Thoroughbred breeding and training facilities in Kentucky. Christina's dream was to compete in three-day events.
Her instructor, Mona, told Christina that she would need a special mount in order to become an expert event rider. And the first time Christina saw Sterling, she knew the mare was the horse she'd been looking for. Winning the Foxwood Acres Horse Trials had proven she was right.
"It's time to train for the Olympics!" Christina announced to her reflection in the mirror as she tugged out the tangles in her hair. She had big plans. As soon as she reached the required age of fourteen, she wanted to ride in a three-day event. That meant working and training hard this summer.
"Your mom said I could go with you to Mona's for the lesson," Melanie said, appearing in the doorway of the bathroom.
Christina quit brushing her hair. "Great. Who are you going to ride?"
Tribulation, nicknamed Trib, was the pony Christina had ridden before buying Sterling. Since Melanie was smaller than Christina, she'd be just about the right size for the talented, feisty jumper.
"Think you can handle him?" Christina grinned at Melanie in the mirror.
"Sure. He can't be harder to handle than Pirate." Pirate was a blind racehorse that Melanie had retrained as a track pony, a horse used to accompany the racehorses to and from the training track.
"Don't underestimate Trib. He's small but mighty."
Melanie shrugged. "We'll do okay. You'll see."
Excerpted from Thoroughbred #27 Christina's Courage by Joanna Campbell Copyright © 2006 by Joanna Campbell. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved this book and all the other books. When I read them I can actually see it happen. They're great. My only problem is that I'd like to know more about Cindy and Sammy and all of them. It's like they disappeared. Other than that, they're great
I luv that mare! Who cares if she is not a racehorse! I cannot believe Christina pushed her!
weird where did wonder go or pride or did pride go to to townsend acres did samantha and tor marry each other what happened to everyone!!!!!!!!! Jo youve got to make a come back!
It was so sad that Christina pushed Sterling to far to actually make her afraid of her owner! It was really dumb of Christina to do that, because she knew it was wrong. It was awful how Christina nearly broke Sterling's spirit. It was great in the end how she and Sterling actually became one, beginning to work together. Now everyone expects to see Christina and Sterling Eventing as high as the sky!
I agree with Trisha. I am a collector of the Thoroughbred series and I loved this book. I still am disappointed that Sammy and Cindy are gpne, though.And you don't see Ashleigh+Mike the same way anymore.