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The Saddle Club is Back

Allison Griest gets a chance to chat with the stars of the horsey hit show.

Many of you may have read and heard of The Saddle Club, a series of more than 110 books by Bonnie Bryant that follows the lives of three horse-crazy girls, Stevie, Lisa and Carole, at Pine Hollow Stables. You may have also seen episodes from the two Saddle Club TV series.

Well, Stevie, Lisa and Carole are back in a third TV season, The Saddle Club Rides Again, and we wanted to get the inside scoop on the stars of the show.

Lauren Dixon, Stevie, and Victoria Campbell, Carole, are both from Canada, and Ariel Kaplan, Lisa, is from Australia!

We got a chance to catch up with each of the young actresses on the phone and to ask them about their time spent filming the series in Australia.

Chatting with Lauren Dixon

Who do you play?
I play Stevie Lake. She's 12 years old, and she has fun being a kid and doesn't really care how she looks. She's adventurous, daring and wants to make the most out of life.

Did you read a lot of The Saddle Club books before you auditioned for the show?
I haven't read all of them, but when I found out I was going to audition, my mom and I bought all the Saddle Club books we could find!

When did you learn to ride?
I learned to ride about a year before Saddle Club. I learned natural horsemanship. It felt good to have a little experience on set. I could use some of the things I learned through natural horsemanship.

Were the other members of the cast fun to work with on the set?
Definitely! We'd do what we were told, but we'd always find some way to make it fun. It was like a big family. We'd have an hour and 45 minutes for lunch, and all the kids would go play games after we finished eating. It was like recess.

What was an exciting scene for you to film?
 I don't want to give anything away, but there was a scene where we were telling spooky stories and the lights were low. Our adrenaline was pumping.

What was it like to get to meet the author of The Saddle Club, Bonnie Bryant?
It was amazing. She's a really nice lady.

What is your favorite breed?
I love Paints. Their spots always make them unique.

Can you relate to any of the characters' stories or adventures?
When The Saddle Club characters would have arguments, we'd patch it up on screen. I'd always take notes since sometimes my friends at home get into arguments.

Did you have a favorite horse on set?
I liked the horse I was riding. I called her Andy-loo. She was an Andalusian.

Did the miniature donkey, Trouble, get into any trouble during filming?
Trouble is a sassy little donkey. His mom is named Snuggles. Trouble was definitely The Saddle Club sweetheart.

Chatting with Arial Kaplan

Who do you play?
I play Lisa Atwood. She is the girly girl of the group, and she's like a mother – she worries a lot.

Are you very into school like your character is?
I'm pretty good at English and social studies, but I'm not as intense as Lisa is.

When did you learn to ride?
I learned to ride when Saddle Club started! We were fortunate enough to have Grahame Ware, Jr. on set with us. He is an amazing instructor. I couldn't have asked for a better start to riding. Now I ride once a week!

What's the silliest thing you had to do while filming?
I can't give too much away, but in one of the episodes, Lisa has a surprise for her friends and makes them very cool outfits that were not very cool to wear. The wardrobe department did a very good job at making the outfits look tacky!

Are there any famous riders or horses that you would love to meet?
My favorite is Lorenzo, the flying French man. He's just amazing.

Did you have a favorite horse on the set?
That would have to be Prancer, my horse. He's a chestnut Thoroughbred.

Who is your favorite Saddle Club character?
Well of course it would have to be Lisa. I love Veronica too. She's such a mean little character, but at the same time, her kindness really comes through in the series.

What is your favorite breed?
I love Fresians. I love their beautiful long hair and fetlocks. They're gorgeous.

What can you tell me about Trouble, the miniature donkey?
That donkey is trouble! He's so well trained when he's around his mom, Snuggles. He once dragged one of our crew members down the hill with him! The crew member was OK though.

Chatting with Victoria Campbell

Who do you play?
I play Carole Hanson. Stevie is more of a tomboy, Lisa is a total girly girl and Carole is somewhere in between. She likes rough riding, but not as much as Stevie, and she doesn't like facemasks and beauty stuff as much as Lisa.

What's it like to be a part of The Saddle Club TV series?
It's cool because I love horses, and The Saddle Club is one of my favorite shows.

When did you learn to ride?
I rode a little bit before the show. I wasn't really competitive. I just rode for fun.

Did you visit any cool sites in Australia?
I went to Sydney and saw the Sydney Opera House and Harbour. When we were in Melbourne, we saw wildlife parks and went to the zoo to see all the different animals.

What was an exciting scene for you to film?
Probably the ones where we have to be really dramatic!

What is the silliest thing you had to do while filming?
We did so many silly things! I remember one time I was supposed to cry, and they didn't hear me fully. I had to cry into a microphone by my arm while being recorded so it would sound like I was crying by my horse.

Do you have a favorite horse on set?
Definitely Starlight. He's just so cute, and he understands that we're doing a show. He's a buckskin.

What is your favorite breed?
Fresians are my favorite breed, and I like palomino colored horses too.

All three of the girls said The Saddle Club TV series is going to be an awesome and fun series! Visit The Saddle Club website for more information at http://www.thesaddleclub.com/.

20 lucky YR readers will receive one of Breyer's The Saddle Club Classics sets from Breyer Animal Creations! These sets include a girl, her favorite horse and saddlery. To enter this contest, simply answer the question below on a postcard with your choice of Stevie & Belle, Lisa & Prancer, or Carole & Starlight to Saddle Club Contest, YR, P.O. Box 8237, Lexington, KY 40533 by January 31, 2009. The first 20 entries with the correct answer pulled out of a bag will win a Saddle Club Classics set!

What is Trouble's mom's name?

 

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