THE TEAM by K. M. Peyton


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Rousing action at the jumps and on the cross-country course is neatly balanced here between two sorts of class consciousness-Ruth's unease at being the only Pony Club rider from a non-horsy family and a competition for mounts that begins when Ruth picks up Toad, the pony that had once been her teammate Peter's favorite, at a bargain auction. Ruth's determination to rehabilitate the lame and half-starved Toad, and her refusal to sell it back to Peter's horse-trainer father cause her anguish--partly because this leaves Peter stuck with Sirius, a dangerous borer, and partly because she isn't confident of her ability to ride Toad at all. In addition to resolving the tension between her and Peter, Ruth has to come to terms with the competitive zeal and snobbish assumptions of the team sponsor, Mrs. Meredith; and on the mud-spattered, rain-soaked day of the team's first important meet Ruth decides that Mrs. Meredith is, in her way, insane about winning, but at the same time comes to respect her willingness to support Peter in his loyalty to the unpredictable Sirius. The human contest of wills is every bit as suspenseful as Ruth's struggle to master Toad; certainly Ruth has matured and steadied since her first outing with Fly-By-Night (1969) and she clears all obstacles going away.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1976
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell