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Reese loves horses and longs to be a competitive show-jumper. When the leased horse she rides is sold she is left riding the orneriest horse in the stable. She decides she must find a horse of her own. Her parents can't afford a trained horse so she decides to buy a wild horse at auction. Outbid, she discovers that many of the wild horses are will be sold for slaughter. Determined to save the horses from a terrible fate she finds herself in deeper than she expected and fighting for her life.
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J u m p e r
M i c h e l e M a r t i n B o s s l e y
Orca Book Publishers
Copyright © Michele Martin Bossley 2006
All rights reserved. No part of this publication 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 now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Bossley, Michele Martin
 Jumper / Michele Martin Bossley. (Orca sports)
ISBN 1-55143-620-5
 I. Title. II. Series. PS8553.O7394J84 2006 jC813’.54 C2006-903486-9
Summary: Reese is determined to save wild horses from the slaughterhouse.
First published in the United States, 2006 Library of Congress Control Number:2006929008
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover design: Doug McCaffry Cover photography: Corbis
OrcaBookPublishers POBox5626,Stn.B Victoria,BCCanadaV8R6S4
OrcaBookPublishers POBox468 Custer,WAUSA98240-0468
Printed and bound in Canada. Printed on recycled paper. 09 08 07 06 • 5 4 3 2 1
For Gigi, who has asked me for years to write a book about horses and show jumping. Here it is, at last.
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Other Orca books by Michele Martin Bossley
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c h a p t e r o n e
“Oh, look, Grandpa! Isn’t he—” “Beautiful. I know, I know,” Grandpa interrupted. “You’ve said that about every horse, Reese.” “But they are. Every single one of them.” I leaned against the fence rail to get a better look. Even with the icy raindrops pattering on my face, I couldn’t take my eyes off the gelding in front of me. Sixteen hands tall, he took the next jump with a soaring grace that
M i c h e l e M a r t i n B o s s l e y
made me catch my breath. “He’s fantastic,” I whispered. “What I wouldn’t give to ride a horse like him. Grandpa’s umbrella wasn’t doing a very good job. We were standing out in one of the worst downpours in the history of Spruce Meadows. Spruce Meadows is a famousshow-jumping facility just south of Calgary, Alberta, where I live. They hold some of the biggest show-jumping competitions in the world there. My grandfather had gotten tickets for this tournament for my birthday, but it was our bad luck that the competition fell on the same day that southern Alberta was hit with a mammoth rainstorm. Water trickled down the back of my collar, my underwear was uncomfortably damp and my sneakers were soaked, but I didn’t care. All I could see was the horse rounding the course in front of me. Grandpa sneezed, then blew his nose in a tissue. After mopping his face vigorously, he turned to me. “Had enough yet?” “Oh, please, Grandpa,” I begged. “Can’t we stay just a little bit longer?”
J u m p e r
Grandpa smiled at me, his blue eyes kind. “Well, I’m up to my knees in mud, but I guess I can’t get much wetter. A few more minutes won’t hurt.” He settled his felt cowboy hat a little more firmly over his iron-gray hair. “Thanks!” I beamed at him. The gelding finished the course to a smattering of applause. Many people had given up and left already. Only those spectators in the covered stands were still dry and comfortable. The next rider came out on a dancing, skittish mare. She pranced and weaved—I could see the rider was having some trouble controlling her. I watched intensely, trying to pick up the rider’s signals to her horse. A good rider’s signals are almost undetectable unless you know what to watch for. The rain had turned the course into a slippery mess, and it was getting worse every second. I could hardly see through the sudden torrent that swept over the field. The mare galloped clumsily through the muck and launched herself toward the first jump. I held my breath as she gathered her forelegsneatly under her body and cleared the poles