Apr 4, 2008

Why steal a watch when you can steal a horse? TB #13: Cindy's Runaway Colt

Cindy's Runaway Colt
Thoroughbred #13
by Joanna Campbell
Originally Published: 1995

Get ready for the crying, screaming, punching of pillows, and, of course, the scowling. We've got it all in this action-packed installment.

I do enjoy this cover, even if Glory looks like someone smudged pink paint on his coat and Cindy has that ever present scowl. Plus this doesn't exactly happen in the book. The closest we get to a scene like this is when Cindy decides to ride him bareback in the middle of the night, and she was wearing pajamas then. So, yeah, nothing more needs to be said.

Cindy's leaving the only home she's ever loved . . .

Cindy Blake wants to stay at Whitebrook Farm forever. After being shuffled from foster home to foster home, she's finally found a place where people love her and, best of all, where she's surrounded by horses. Then Lavinia Townsend accuses Cindy of stealing.

The authorities want to send her to another home. Even her new foster parents seem to doubt her. Cindy's troubles multiply when she discovers a mistreated horse on a neighboring farm and takes him into hiding. If anyone finds out she's stolen a horse, she'll have to leave Whitebrook Farm for sure!


1. Glory. On the heels of one abused horse (Shining) we have another abused horse. Because the Thoroughbred Series doesn't recycle plotlines fast enough, right? Okay, Glory's story is a bit different than Shining's. He's part of a race fixing operation and he was stolen by Whitebrook's new neighbors. Who, despite appearing to have a shoddy system and little money, managed to purchase prime property in Bluegrass country. Anyway, Cindy spots Glory being mistreated by his "owners" who are trying to train him to do...something, I guess...and that just isn't going very well. So the horse takes matters in hand and jumps the fence into Whitebrook's property, where Cindy finds him and hides him away in a storage shed. Everyone finds out what happens eventually and discover the shady and nefarious past the horse has been involved in, and Glory's story is left unresolved by the end of the book.

2. Lavinia. So she's pregnant and on a hormone-induced rage, okay? She's screaming her head off and acting batty as usual, only she decides to vent her anger on Cindy for some reason and before you know it accuses Cindy of stealing an inconveniently placed watch. This "ruins" Cindy's life and has Child Welfare plotting to stick her in another home and just as it's decided to move her Lavinia decides to ride off on a colt...or a filly, Joanna doesn't seem to make up her mind about that...and takes a fall. Cindy runs over and saves her life. Brad starts to cry, which made me want to strangle someone and all was well. With them, anyway. I was more trying to wrap my brain around Brad being all emotional.

Oh, and Hank found the watch. So yay! Cindy can stay at Whitebrook.

3. Her Majesty vs. Shining
Shining wins, Her Majesty loses, as per the usual. Because God forbid any Townsend Acres horse actually win a race against a Whitebrook horse.


  • Cindy is in sixth grade and has intermediate French? In what Kentucky public school system is that normal?
  • Poor Lavinia. She's so hated by everyone that by just tossing her "perfect" hair she upsets Mr. Wonderful. I kid you not. What the hell could she be doing to surprise a horse this way? Is she whipping her head back and forth in front of the horse's nose? No one had best toss their hair near a Wonder foal. God only knows what tiny motion might upset its delicate sensibilities!
  • Glory's abuser's eyes are "bloodshot with rage" which is pretty comical in itself, but who can notice something like that given how far Cindy is from the action?
  • ...who takes off their watch and leaves it on a bench? Their "pure gold" watch, I might add. At a farm filled with disgruntled, most likely underpaid employees? *sigh*
  • Now Ashleigh drives a Jeep. That's three Jeep Cherokees. Someone has a Jeep obsession.
  • Her Majesty is now bay. Previously she was a gray. So, whatever.
  • Cindy spends the whole book coming up with names for the twins. They wind up as Four Leaf Clover and Rainbow. These are colts, by the way. There's nothing more masculine than being called Rainbow, I must say. Really. Imagine Rainbow standing at stud. No wonder Rainbow is quickly dumped and Four Leaf Clover's name gets changed.
Is anyone getting sick of the abused this or that plotlines yet? Anyone? Plus, lots of typos in this book. Many, many typos. Yet, ellipses were finally used correctly. It's one thing or another, I guess. Can't have it all with these books.

So, I wasn't terribly annoyed with Cindy in this book. Probably because she hasn't gotten entirely full of herself and Karen Bentley has yet to take over. And there was less "I'm a natural!" there to irk me. And less strange plot points to mull over in confusion, which made it a solid read. It pains me to say it because this is Cindy, and it's another abuse plotline, but that's just one gal's opinion.

Okay. Two books down.


Anonymous said...

It always bugged me endlessly how, in TB-land, the ONLY people who use whips/crops are evil abusers.

And don't get me started on how they baby Wonder's foals. No wonder they're all so hypersensitive to every last little thing. Gad.

Anonymous said...

Yup. The "Wonder's foals are saintly" attitude. My god. Like in 'Wonder's Sister', it was basically this:

Ashleigh: That's a disgusting animal! You were stupid to buy her!

Mike: But Shining is related to Wonder!

Ashleigh: Really? Oh, poor horsey! How can anyone treat Wonder's sister this way? We'll keep her!

Monique said...

hahaha... I wonder if Her Majesty if Leap of Faith's granddam with her technicolour dreamcoat.

Anonymous said...

i actually really liked this book. of course, it required a fair amount of suspension of belief, but it's definitely my favorite Cindy book. probably because it was too early in the series for her to have mutated into the entitled, scowling brat she ended up as.

Anonymous said...

oh, and for all the build-up surrounding the twins' names, i was ridiculously disappointed when the best Cindy could come up with was Four Leaf Clover and Rainbow.