Authors: Bonnie Bryant
#1: HORSE CRAZY
#2: HORSE SHY
#3: HORSE SENSE
#4: HORSE POWER
#5: TRAIL MATES
#6: DUDE RANCH
#7: HORSE PLAY
#8: HORSE SHOW
#9: HOOF BEAT
#10: RIDING CAMP
#11: HORSE WISE
#12: RODEO RIDER
#13: STARLIGHT CHRISTMAS
#14: SEA HORSE
#15: TEAM PLAY
#16: HORSE GAMES
#18: PACK TRIP
#19: STAR RIDER
#20: SNOW RIDE
#22: FOX HUNT
#23: HORSE TROUBLE
#24: GHOST RIDER
#25: SHOW HORSE
#26: BEACH RIDE
#27: BRIDLE PATH
#28: STABLE MANNERS
#29: RANCH HANDS
#30: AUTUMN TRAIL
#32: CHOCOLATE HORSE
#33: HIGH HORSE
#34: HAY FEVER
#35: HORSE TALE
#36: RIDING LESSON
#37: STAGE COACH
#38: HORSE TRADE
#40: GIFT HORSE
#41: STABLE WITCH
#43: PHOTO FINISH
#45: STABLE GROOM
#46: FLYING HORSE
#47: HORSE MAGIC
#48: MYSTERY RIDE
#49: STABLE FAREWELL
#50: YANKEE SWAP
#51: PLEASURE HORSE
#52: RIDING CLASS
#54: GOLD MEDAL RIDER
THE SADDLE CLUB SUPER EDITIONS
#1: A SUMMER WITHOUT HORSES
#2: THE SECRET OF THE STALLION
#3: WESTERN STAR
Kate let Southwood canter a few strides, then put him back into a trot. She turned him toward a giant log.
“She can’t jump that from a
,” Stevie said anxiously. “It looks four feet tall.”
But Kate knew she could. Southwood trotted up and over the log as though it were a cross rail. Kate halted him and began to quietly walk him up the hill to the stable, her face beaming with joy.
“It’s been so long!” she called to Beatrice. “And it felt so good! Thank you.”
Beatrice smiled again, a sharp smile. “Why don’t you ride Southwood this weekend?” she asked, her voice ringing out across the yard.
Kate gasped. That bank jump she had just taken had been perfect, absolutely perfect, and Southwood was a wonderful horse. She would only ride in this one show. It didn’t have to be the way it was before.
“Oh, Kate,” Carole said, her face aglow with happiness for her friend. “You should do it.”
“We’ll help you,” Lisa promised.
“All right,” Kate said. “I will.”
RL 5, 009–012
GOLD MEDAL RIDER
A Bantam Skylark Book / May 1996
Skylark Books is a registered trademark of Bantam Books, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and elsewhere.
“The Saddle Club” is a registered trademark of Bonnie Bryant Hiller.
The Saddle Club design/logo, which consists of a riding crop and a riding hat, is a trademark of Bantam Books.
“USPC” and “Pony Club” are registered trademarks of The United States Pony Clubs, Inc., at The Kentucky Horse Park, 4071 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511-8462.
All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1996 by Bonnie Bryant Hiller.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
For information address: Bantam Books.
Published simultaneously in the United States and Canada
Bantam Books are published by Bantam Books, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. Its trademark, consisting of the words “Bantam Books” and the portrayal of a rooster, is Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. Marca Registrada. Bantam Books, 1540 Broadway, New York, New York 10036.
I would like to express my special thanks to Kimberly Brubaker Bradley for her help in the writing of this book.
shut the car door and ran through the warm spring rain to the front door of her best friend Lisa Atwood’s house. Carole Hanson, Stevie’s other best friend, followed close on her heels.
“Whew!” The girls reached the shelter of the Atwoods’ front porch. Carole shook raindrops from her black hair. “Do you think Lisa’s expecting us?” She rang the doorbell.
“We haven’t missed a day yet, have we? I hope she’s feeling better.” Lisa had come down with chicken pox exactly one week earlier. She woke up on a Saturday morning, covered with spots and scratching. Stevie and Carole had both already had chicken pox, so they could visit Lisa without worrying about catching it.
“Come on in, girls,” Mrs. Atwood told them when she opened the door. “Lisa’s in her room. I was just about to make her some lunch. Have you eaten?”
“We’re fine, Mrs. Atwood,” Carole said politely. “We came straight from Pine Hollow, and we brought our sandwiches with us. We decided not to stay after the Horse Wise meeting.” Pine Hollow was the stable where all three girls took riding lessons and where Stevie and Carole boarded their horses. Horse Wise, the Pony Club where they learned about horses and riding, met there on Saturday mornings. Usually Stevie, Carole, and Lisa ate lunch at the stable and rode all afternoon.
Stevie nodded in agreement. Reaching under her rain poncho, she opened the backpack she’d been keeping dry, and pulled out a brown paper bag. It was smushed into the shape of a Frisbee, and something purple dripped from one corner. Stevie grimaced and quickly put the sack back. She must have sat on it during Horse Wise.
“That’s okay,” Carole said, “I’ll share.” She confidently patted the pocket of her raincoat, but as she did so her face fell. Her pocket was empty. She tried to remember where she’d left her lunch. She had been in her horse’s stall when Stevie called out that her mother was there to give them a ride to Lisa’s. Carole remembered opening her lunch bag, giving Starlight an apple, and setting the rest of the lunch down to give the gelding a big hug. Her lunch was still in
Starlight’s stall. “I hope Starlight likes tuna salad,” she said ruefully.
Mrs. Atwood smiled. “Never mind, girls, I’ll fix you something, too. Go cheer up Lisa.”
Stevie and Carole thanked her and hurried upstairs. “Isn’t that just like us!” Stevie exclaimed. “We need Lisa around to keep us straightened out.”
The three friends complemented each other well. They all loved horses and riding, but otherwise they were quite different. Lisa was logical and coolheaded. She hadn’t been riding as long as the others, but she worked very hard at it and was doing well. Stevie was serious about only one thing—horses. She treated the rest of life as if it were one big practical joke. Even though Lisa and Carole sometimes had to fish her out of her own hot water, they agreed that life was more exciting with Stevie around.
Carole was the best rider among them. She knew she’d make horses her life—someday, somehow. She tried hard to learn absolutely everything about them; and because she was so focused on them, she often forgot other things. Leaving her lunch behind was typical.
When the three friends were together, they made a great team, and they knew it. They had formed The Saddle Club, dedicated to horses, riding, and each other. Members had to be horse-crazy and always ready to help one another.
Carole knocked softly on Lisa’s bedroom door. “It’s us,” she said.
“Come in.” Lisa was slumped in the pink armchair between her bed and a window. She was wearing a raggedy old pair of sweats and looked cross and disgruntled. Her face and hands were covered with red scabs.
“I felt glad this morning because it was raining and I knew you wouldn’t be able to ride, so you would come see me,” Lisa said as her friends took off their rain gear. “Then I felt horrible for wanting the rain to spoil your fun. Then I felt glad again, because I’m tired of being home and I wanted someone to talk to. And then I felt horrible, because what I really want to do is go riding with you guys. I’m sorry it rained!”
Carole and Stevie both gave her a hug. “Which are you now?” Stevie asked. “Glad or horrible?”
“Both.” Lisa crossed her arms over her chest. She looked wretched.
“The pox will go away soon,” Stevie pointed out. “The doctor said you might be able to ride next week.”
I’ll get to ride,” Lisa said. “But the pox won’t go away soon. I’m going to look crusty for a month.”
Stevie raised an eyebrow. “That could be an asset,” she said seriously. “Simon Atherton asked about you after Pony Club. He seemed really concerned.”
Lisa and Carole giggled. Simon was a dorky boy who
rode at Pine Hollow. Lisa would be glad for anything that would keep Simon from following her around.
“Don’t let Stevie scare you, Lisa,” Carole said. “I don’t think Simon’s really interested in you. He’s still mooning over Veronica.”
“Sometimes Simon reminds me of Drew,” Stevie said thoughtfully. “Nice, but dorky.” Drew was a groom who worked for friends of theirs, Dorothy DeSoto and Nigel Hawthorne.
“Drew’s not dorky!” Lisa protested. “He’s practically a grown-up, anyway. How can you call him that when he loves horses so much?”