Melanie Graham loves spending time in Kentucky with her cousin Christina. She loves being away from New York City. And most of all, Melanie loves riding! That's why she's determined to win the competition next week. Her dad is flying all the way from New York to watch. Once he sees well how well Melanie rides, he'll let her stay in Kentucky for good.
But then someone begins sabotaging the other ridersand everyone blames Melanie! She might even be disqualified from the competition. Melanie knows that if her dad finds out, he'll make her go back to New York for sure!
Can Melanie prove that she's innocent in time for the big competition?
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 #29 Melanie's Last Ride
By Joanna Campbell
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Joanna Campbell
All right reserved.
"At least you still love me, don't you, Trib?" Twelve-year-old Melanie Graham said to her pony, Tribulation. Not that Trib was really her pony, Melanie reminded herself. She was just borrowing him from her cousin, Christina Reese.
Trib turned his head to look at her, a hunk of hay dangling from his mouth. Melanie ruffled his fuzzy mane, then finished currying a manure stain on his flank. Her morning riding lesson was in thirty minutes, and Trib had to look perfect for inspection.
With a sudden sigh, Melanie leaned back against the stall wall. Outside, she heard the happy chatter of the other campers assigned to A barn. This was the beginning of the second week of Camp Saddlebrook's event clinic. Melanie had had a terrific time riding and making new friends. But yesterday when her father hadn't shown up for the Parents' Day activities, she'd been so disappointed. A familiar sadness had crept over her.
It still lingered this morning.
Oh, just forget about him, Melanie told herself as she went back to rubbing Trib vigorously. Too vigorously, Trib told her with a swat of his tail.
"Sorry, Trib," Melanie apologized. "I'm just angry at my dad."
Not that she wasn't used to being stood up. Her father,Will Graham, was a record producer in New York. He'd become so successful -- flying from coast to coast almost every week -- that he had little time for his daughter. That was one reason Melanie had gone to live with her aunt and uncle, Ashleigh Griffen and Michael Reese, on their horse farm in Kentucky for the summer.
"Hey!" Christina Reese stuck her head into Trib's stall. Her long strawberry-blond hair was windblown, her freckled nose sunburned. "We need you out here before Eliza comes down from the big house."
"What for?" Melanie asked but Christina had already gone. Walking over to the door, Melanie peered around the jamb. The aisle of A barn was filled with campers.
"Jennifer, what's going on?" Melanie called. Jennifer's horse, Geronimo, was also in A barn. Fourteen-year-old Jennifer was on the same team as Eliza, Christina, and Melanie.
Jennifer hurried over, her dark eyes sparkling with excitement.
"We made a big sign that says 'congratulations' and put a ribbon on Flash's new halter," Jennifer told her. "Eliza's still inside the house talking to Perky about buying Flash, but she should be here any minute."
"That's so cool!" Melanie's sadness lifted as she thought how happy Eliza had been this morning. Flash, the big Thoroughbred Eliza had borrowed from her instructor for the clinic, had almost been sold to someone else. But thanks to yesterday's rock concert that Melanie's dad arranged, the campers had raised enough money for Eliza to buy the horse through the Young Riders program.
Dropping her curry comb in her grooming bucket, Melanie went to join the others. Sean Laslow and Dylan Becker, the only two male campers, hung back from the rest of the group. As Melanie approached, she noticed Sean's hands were jammed in the pockets of his riding breeches and a sullen expression clouded his cute face.
"What's wrong with you? Is Dylan's snoring keeping you up at night?" Melanie teased.
"Hey, he's the one who talks in his sleep," Dylan shot back, his grin playful. The two boys shared a room above the old carriage house while the girls slept in the dorm-like rooms called the kennels, where the farm's foxhounds had once been housed.
"Dylan!" someone called. Rachel Greenberg was hurrying across the green that separated A barn from B barn. Her long black hair, pulled back in a ponytail, bounced as she ran; her riding helmet was propped under her arm.
By now, everybody at camp knew that Christina and Dylan liked each other. Everybody, that is, except Rachel, who seemed determined to make Dylan interested in her.
"Good morning, Rachel," Melanie said with exaggerated sweetness. Ignoring her, Rachel walked right up to Dylan. Dylan greeted her with a big smile. Too bad Dylan was such a nice guy, Melanie thought. He'd never tell Rachel to get lost.
Melanie turned her attention back to Sean, who was slouched against a support pillar. Melanie knew he'd been disappointed yesterday, too. He and his teammates -- Rachel, Dylan, and Bekka Jenson -- had come in last in the quadrille competition. Sean had taken the loss hard, especially when his parents had chastised him in front of everybody at the picnic after the performances.
Still, at least his parents had been there, Melanie thought. Her father hadn't even bothered to call to tell her he couldn't make it until the last minute.
"You okay?" she asked Sean.
"Why shouldn't I be?" he said gruffly, and Melanie knew that he wasn't okay. All last week Sean had been the camp's clown and joke-teller. This morning, he seemed like a different kid.
"I just knew you were disappointed in the quadrille yesterday," Melanie continued.
He shrugged. "Nah. The quadrille was just some stupid exercise Perky thought up to torture us with."
I thought it was fun, Melanie was about to say, but she quickly swallowed her words. Sean didn't look like he was in the mood to hear them.
"She's coming!" Jennifer called in a low voice. Melanie looked toward the house. Christina was walking down the hill with Eliza. She was gesturing dramatically as if trying to keep Eliza's attention on her.
When the two got about fifty yards away from the barn, Jennifer led a chorus of 'congratulations!" Eliza's eyes widened in surprise, and she pressed her hand to her mouth as if to keep from crying.
Melanie knew how the older girl felt. Right now, she didn't have a horse of her own either. Back at Whitebrook Farm, she rode Pirate, a blind ex-racehorse. But that was to help pony the young Thoroughbreds to and from the training track. For lessons, she was riding Trib, Christina's outgrown pony. She and the rambunctious Trib got along great, but it wasn't like having your own horse to love.
Excerpted from Thoroughbred #29 Melanie's Last Ride 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
Melanie is one of the best characters! she adds sooo much spice, especcially when christina isnt really funny. it is so not cool when everyone starts blaming mel for all the tricks, but it isnt her fault! mel is a great character!!!! this book was great! i love the TB series!!!!!
Melanie really spices up the series. I read this book on the way to the beach, and it was a great wy to pass the time. I love this series i have read 1-37! I am can't wait till my order for 38-42 comes in! e-mail if u want to talk about Thoroughbred!
I loved this book!!!!!!!!This and Camp Saddlebrook inspired me to go to hb riding camp!!!
This book is soo great!!!! I can't wait to get some more in this series!!!!