Canterwood Crest is a series of pre-teen novels by American author Jessica Burkhart,

Canterwood Crest Series
Take the reins pklu
Author: Jessica Burkhart
Publicist Company: Simon & Schuster Aladdin MIX
Cover Artist: Monica Stevenson
Country: United States
Language: English
Books: Take the Reins
Chasing Blue
Behind the Bit
Triple Fault
Best Enemies
Little White Lies
Rival Revenge
Home Sweet Drama
City Secrets
Elite Ambition
Scandals, Rumors, and Lies
Unfriendly Competition
premiering with the 2009 book Take the Reins. The series follows young student Sasha Silver as she enters the Canterwood Crest Academy, an elite school housing highly competitive equestrian riders. While attending Canterwood, Sasha encounters a disparate collection of students, including the snobbish team captain Heather Fox, and an eventual love interest named Jacob. As events transpire, the team members attempt to work together amidst a slew of personality clashes and romantic conflicts. The series introduced a new main character during the first Super Special edition. She was named Lauren Towers and the book centers around her arrival at the academy. Every book published afterword has centered around her point of view. The entire series is known for its drama, cliff-hangers, and friendships.


Upon arriving at the prestigious Canterwood Crest Academy, former Connecticut student Sasha Silver plans to join the school's equestrian team. However, she is met with resistance from three popular members known as the "Trio" (Heather, Julia, and Alison), who view her as a threat to their social status. Internal conflict sets the stage for the story, with the initial focus being Sasha's efforts to make the team and sustain her morale. In the midst of things, a boy named Jacob begins to earn her romantic attention. However, other romantic interests also enter the story, leading to love triangles and other personal matters.


Sasha Silver

A gifted horseback rider, Sasha begins attending Canterwood Crest during Take the Reins, accompanied by her horse, Charm. Her intent early on is to join the school's equestrian team. However, this is initially met with resentment from the popular Trio. She becomes fast friends with a fellow rider named Callie and roommate, Paige. She crushes on Jacob but soon after she meets Eric, creating the main love triangle within the series. Surprisingly, Sasha becomes good friends with Heather and Alison by the end of the series and her relationship status concludes, entirely drama-free, with Jacob as her boyfriend.

Callie Harper

A highly driven and athletic student, Callie is out to become Canterwood's finest rider with the help of her horse, Black Jack. She is committed to riding. She meets Sasha in the first book and they become instant best friends. However, with love triangles and secrets, they drift apart and Callie begins to hate Sasha. However, in later books, they agree to keep their personal matters away from riding and aren't as hostile towards one another.

Heather Fox

Heather is a proud, snobbish member of the advanced riding team.That's always drivven by Dad, Mr. Fox, so everyday is a work day. Her horse, Aristocrat, is also at ends with Sasha's horse, Charm. As the leader of the Trio, she revels in glory, which often puts her at odds with Sasha. Deep down, her personality is driven by hidden personal matters. Heather is naturally good-willed and can tell when people are lying, but her relationship with her parents cause her much pain. By the end of the series, she and Sasha agree to work for the better of the team, and become friends. As she matures in age she matures in personality and no longer steals boyfriends, having her own.

Julia Myer

A tough-talking equestrian with formidable skills, Julia is another member of the Trio. She often seeks to be recognized as superior to Heather on the track along with Trix, her bay mare. Julia is falsely accused on cheating on the test and is the blogger in the book Scandals, Rumors, and Lies. She is expelled from Canterwood after it is revealed she is the anonymous blogger on campus.

Alison Robb

Alison is the third member of the Trio, and also the meekest. She is close friends with Heather but often feels second-best in terms of skill. She and Sunstruck, her agitated palomino, work well together. Secretly, she possesses more talent than she is aware of, but is hindered by matters of confidence. She is falsely accuses for cheating on a test. She is friends with Sasha and is shocked and hurt by Julia's betrayal.

Jasmine King

Jasmine is an ambitious transfer student who has a bad and competitive history with Heather. She instantly dislikes Sasha and always tries to sabotage both Heather and Sasha while she's at Canterwood. She is expelled for framing Julia and Alison, with her horse Phoenix.

Brit Chan

Brit is a transfer student introduced in the book Elite Ambition. She is an extremely strong rider, and she and her horse Apollo are an amazing team. Brit comes from a small town and has a kind personality, similar to Sasha. She instantly becomes popular because of this. Heather and Sasha welcome her with open arms, mostly for the paranoid reason of making sure she doesn't have the chance to start her own clique, but later on, this is a distant memory and they are all good friends. Julia just can't seem to trust her, but besides this is well-liked by everyone she meets.

Jacob Schwartz

Sasha's first love interest, Jacob, dated Callie but it is later known he always likes Sasha throughout it all. Jacob breaks up with Callie to be with Sasha after her own breakup with another boy named Eric. Jacob is a track-runner who has a rivalry with Eric due to an unhealthy possessiveness over Sasha, which, thankfully, fades later on.

Eric Rodriguez

Eric is a rider at the academy with a horse named Luna and is the ex-boyfriend of Sasha. Luna and him work well together, and bond quickly upon being paired as horse and rider. He dates Sasha for a total of two books, before breaking up with her when he witnesses Jacob kissing Sasha (which Jacob initiated). He currently dates Rachel. Eric is kind and loving, and though he tries to be nice to Jacob, the two aren't meant for any kind of friendship and both dislike the other.

Paige Parker

Paige is a Manhattan girl and the first roommate (and best friend) that Sasha ever has. Paige is gentle, sweet, and kind, and has good intuition. She does not ride and is now the former roommate of Sasha, but is still her best friend along with Callie. She is Ryan's girlfriend. Her beginnings in the series paint her as someone with a passion for cooking and baking, which ends nicely with her as the host of Teen Cuisine, the hottest show on the Kid's Food Network channel.

Lauren Towers

Lauren Towers is a superstar rider in her hometown before coming to Canterwood Crest Academy. The Super Special book Chosen is where she is introduced as the new main character of the series' books onward, replacing Sasha Silver and acting as the new first-person point of view. She and her horse Whisper are an amazing team. Sasha and Lauren get along well and it is revealed Sasha is her idol, as they both hail from the same hometown.


Burkhart was inspired by a combination of equestrian experience during her youth and a fondness for writing as she grew older. After much of her freelance work was published by numerous magazines, she entered 2006's National Novel Writing Month and completed a first draft of Take the Reins. In January 2007, a literary agent offered to read the story after viewing the author's blog. Burkhart was later signed by the agent, which eventually led to a four-book deal with Simon & Schuster.

While promoting the first novel, Burkhart maintained an online presence throughout 2008, which consisted of blogging and vlogging with regard to the production of her work and the publishing process. In April, the author reported that photoshoots for her covers had been set in motion. By September, Burkhart had received an advance reader copy of Take the Reins while working on the subsequent novels.

In December, it was announced that an additional four novels would gradually follow the fourth book, Triple Fault. Later in the month, an online video trailer for Take the Reins was released, featuring photos of scenery and the character models. Trailers for other releases followed.

Book ReleasesEdit

Take the Reins (Book 1)

Sasha Silver arrives on the campus of the elite Canterwood Crest Academy, where she becomes determined to prove that she belongs on the advanced riding team. She is faced with a competitive group of girls known as the Trio, befriends another rider named Callie (as well as her lively roommate), and takes a romantic interest in a boy named Jacob.

Chasing Blue (Book 2)

After earning a spot on the school's equestrian team, Sasha discovers that Trio leader Heather has also taken an interest in Jacob, and a new boy crushes on Sasha.

Behind the Bit (Book 3)

During midwinter break, Sasha is invited to attend an exclusive equestrian clinic, where various clashes ensue among Callie, Heather, Alison, and Julia.

Triple Fault (Book 4)

Sasha deals with Callie and Jacob's betrayal. At the same time, a highly competitive new girl arrives.

Best Enemies (Book 5)

The growing competition between Heather and Jasmine rises, with Sasha ending up in the middle, while Jacob is acting strange.

Little White Lies (Book 6)

Sasha is faced with ethical decisions in order to keep several relationships in their current state after an important secret threatens to destroy all relations.

Rival Revenge (Book 7)

Julian and Alison seek revenge over their falsely accused sentence.

Home Sweet Drama (Book 8)

Sasha is more than ready to become the new Queen Bee, and the competition between Heather and Sasha dramatically intensifies.

City Secrets (Book 9)

Sasha and Heather go on vacation in New York City, while Heather hides a secret from Sasha and more of Heather's own problems are explored.

Elite Ambition (Book 10)

Sasha has gained success and popularity at Canterwood. However, several personal challenges abound.

Scandals, Rumors, and Lies (Book 11)

An anonymous blogger has begun revealing personal information about several of the main characters.

Unfriendly Competition (Book 12)

A skilled rider from Sasha's hometown arrives at Canterwood, posing a possible challenge to her on and off the course.

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