You find your way to the training barn where young horses rattle their feed buckets

You reach to pat a curious nose or two pressing through stall bars, before hearing the ringing of dress shoes coming down the aisle ahead.

Sunshine edges in on the silhouette of a tall, lean young woman. As she blocks out more of the light behind her, you recognize Brooke Merrsal, granddaughter of North Oak's head trainer, Joe Hendricks.

She's just returned from a race meet, still dressed to the nines.

Brooke smiles at you. "Let me get changed and I'll show you around."

Perhaps even more adept than her grandfather, Brooke has grown up on the farm with the horses. If one of them so much as sneezes, she's likely to know before Hillary Showman-- who might as well be her aunt.

At 19, Brooke's now making a name for herself in the racing world as a young trainer, and is poised to take over North Oak's head trainer position someday.

As Steven North's go-to lady for backing yearlings, and prepping them for sale, Brooke has been instrumental in the development of many of North Oak's best horses. Including champion Promenade.

With the money she's earned from that task, she claimed her first horse, Morning Glory, before getting her trainer's license. She couldn't resist adding Florescent Cheerio to her string not long after.

Some say Brooke has a soft spot for underdogs, which is why she and Alex have done so well as partners. They don't always see eye to eye-- often treading the line as frenemies-- But what they have achieved together is undeniable.

Their most recent triumph has included multiple grade one stakes wins with Venus Nights, as well as an Eclipse Champion title; setting the filly on the path to the Kentucky Oaks. (Books 6-9).

Like Alex, Brooke is a rising star in her own right. She doesn't believe in riding on her grandfather's good name or coattails and is determined to find her own glory. She plans on attending college soon for sports medicine.

If only Dejado Augustun weren't such a distraction....

"Ready to go?" She asks, after returning from her apartment in jeans, paddock boots, and a light shirt.

Brooke Merrsal was originally based off of Ann's friend in middle school of a similar name. This is her actual likeness. Please do not use without permission.

See where Brooke has made an impact in the following books.