Welcome to Brook Haven Ranch! We are a 18+ premium role playing community set in Trader's Bend, Montana. Our concept is the culmination of twenty years of plotting and planning. We feature a rich, developed program in which many troubled characters thrive. Our community is one of the best on jcink and we look forward to you becoming a part of it!
Healing Horses & Troubled Teens since 1995
Not every teenager has the benefit of growing up in a loving, happy home. Some are victims of abuse, neglect, a system that shuffles them from foster home to foster home. Brook Haven Ranch was established in 1995 as a refuge for abused and neglected horses -- and teenagers who needed a second chance in life and the opportunity to become something more than society expects of them.
TW: cancer, spousal death, miscarriage, tired movie tropes
Full Name: cleo elizabeth turley
Nickname/Alias: cleo, princess
Date of Birth: march 9th, 1990
Current Age: 27
User Group: ridgerunner
Eye Color: blue
Hair Color: blode
Weight: 121 lbs
Scars or Marks: a long, thin scar on her right upper arm from surgery after a fall as a child
Tattoos or Piercings a horseshoe tattoo on the back of her neck. no piercings
Face Claim: claire holt
MBTI Type: intj
Likes: renaissance faires, music, flutes, dancing, horseback riding, summer weather, hammocks, sailing, visiting old cemeteries, hot tea with milk or lemon, warm fireplaces in winter, cozy quilts, knitting, warm socks, hand-knit socks, staring up at the stars, full moons, smooth waters, the atlantic ocean, the celtic sea, italy, northern england, museums, discovering american culture, driving in cars, riding on trains, fresh flowers, natural light, lots of windows, cottage living, english gardens, fencing, archery, fairy tales, romance novels, her diary, cats, horses, rainy days indoors, warm days in the garden
Dislikes: flying (in airplanes), hospitals, funeral homes, funerals in general, animated movies, restrictive clothing, sexist viewpoints, being forced to read, academic sorts, high-brow people, haters of all sorts, people who discrimiate based on her accent, losing, animal cruelty, people who sell their horses for meat, careless drivers, when people use their cell phones in company, driving while on cell phones, "boom-boom music," long dissertations, dealing with veterinarians, snobby people, sexism, being lonely
Strengths: passionate, quick learner, good listener, imaginative, creative, hard working, well-rounded, easy-going, independent, self-confident, high self-worth, grounded
Weaknesses: judgmental, arrogant, can be snobbish, overly-analytical, hates structure, doesn't do well with strict rules, tends to set her own course, sometimes allows students to get away with things, often breaks convention, unconventional, anachronistic, anxious
Fears: breaking a leg, serious injury to her horse, being alone in the dark, being tied up, being kidnapped, hospitals, funeral homes, hearses, getting her hair caught and pulled out
Aspirations: cleo is still getting this back together after her husband died. she's not currently sure of what she wants, but she's working that out slowly.
Romantic Orientation: heteroromantic
Sexual Orientation: heterosexual
Relationship Status: widowed
Significant Other: alexander turley
Career/Occupation: professional equestrian
Education: secondary school (year 11)
Dream Job: unsure
Home Town: suffolk, england
Religion: church of england
Preferred Riding Style: english
Disciplines: dressage, show jumping, cross country, endurance
Riding Strengths: excellent seat, good posture, soft hands, firm legs
Riding Weaknesses: slow responses, poor leg position
March 9th, 1990 - Cleo Turley is Born
Cleo is born in London, England, to parents Gary and Karen Turley. She's the third child in the family, but the first girl, and her mother is thrilled to finally have a baby girl to dote on. Her three elder brothers are less than impressed with their little sister, who they claim cries a lot and doesn't do anything but cry, eat, and poop. They dislike changing her diaper, but are also highly protective of her.
1992 - Cleo Meets Her First Pony
Up to this point Cleo has never seen a horse before -- not that this is surprising considering that she's only two years old. The horse is an old English Spotted Pony at a carnival that Cleo rides around in a circle before dismounting. It will become one of her earliest memories, though her mother insists that she only remembers it through photographs.
1994 - Cleo Receives First Pony
Cleo's mother purchases her a six year-old Welsh Pony gelding. The pony is young and a bit unstable, but with training it will become Cleo's first best friend. Over the next six years she will learn to jump, ride cross country, and ride dressage with this pony. She names it Anthony.
September, 1997 - Cleo Wins First Competition
Cleo's first competition is in dressage, and she takes it away at the tender age of seven. She's the youngest in her division, earning her the first genuine praise and respect. From this point forward, Cleo would learn to work for praise.
June, 1998 - Cleo Wins Second Competition
This time it's a competition in show jumping.
May, 2000 - Cleo Wins Her First Eventing Competition
It's becoming obvious to Cleo's mother that her daughter excels on horseback. While her brothers play football, rugby, cricket, and lacrosse, Cleo's mother pushes her harder and harder into eventing. Fortunately, Cleo loves to ride, and she continues to enjoy the sport.
June, 2000 - Cleo Decides to Train for Olympics
Although she's only ten years old, this is the time that Cleo decides that she wants to train for the Olympics. Her mother is quick to find her a coach and to begin her training.
August, 2000 - Cleo Enters Private School
In order to provide for her training, Cleo's mother puts her into a private school that will allow her more access to the tools that she needs in order to train.
August, 2001 - Cleo Breaks her Wrist
Though not Cleo's first fall, this is her first injury. It prevents her for riding for the duration of the season, and she trains harder the next spring as a result of her injury.
May, 2003 - Cleo Receives Second Horse
Cleo's second horse is an Irish Sport Horse significantly larger than her previous horse. Though she will keep Anthony, Storm will become her primary eventing horse. For the next three years she won't win a single event.
July, 2006 - Cleo Wins on Celtic
This is Cleo's first win on a full-sized horse. Celtic is still a bit large for her, but she takes the win for the first time. The recognition pushes her to increase her equestrian efforts.
May, 2007 - Cleo Wins National Championship
Cleo has been competing at the local and regional level for years, but this year she takes the National championship, putting herself in line to compete in the Olympics. She continues to train privately.
The Olympic Years
Summer, 2008 - Cleo Takes Olympic Silver
Cleo competes and takes silver for eventing in the 2008 Summer Olympics, riding Celtic.
Summer, 2012 - Cleo Takes Olympic Gold
Cleo competes and wins gold for eventing in the 2012 Summer Olympics, riding Celtic
October, 2012 - Cleo Meets Alexander
Cleo meets Alexander at a showcase where he has brought some of the teenagers he's working with so that they can meet the horses.
December, 2012 - Cleo and Alexander Begin Courting
Alexander tells Cleo that he doesn't want to "date" somebody he doesn't intend to marry. He's her first boyfriend, and he treats her well and cherishes her. Their romance is strong and incredible. He promises to court her for a year before proposing.
December, 2013 - Alexander Proposes
May, 2014 - Cleo Enters the Professional Area
After two years between her gold medal win and the present, Cleo begins a professional career as an equestrian rider. This means accepting endorsements as well as riding in professional events.
September, 2014 - Cleo Miscarries for the First Time
It happens before Cleo even knows that she's pregnant, but it is devastating to her. She takes a three-month break from riding before heading back into indoor events.
January, 2016[/b] - Cleo Becomes Pregnant
March, 2016 - Cleo Miscarries for the Second Time
This time Cleo knows that she is pregnant, and the loss is all the more devastating. She takes six months off from riding.
September, 2016 - Cleo Purchases Colt
Colt is a Hanoverian Gelding with four years of training in eventing. He is to be her new eventing horse.
January, 2017 - Alexander Passes Away
Alex's death comes quickly and unexpectedly for Cleo. He's known it was coming for the past seven months.
March 2nd, 2017 - Cleo Receives First Letter
The first letter from her dead husband comes as a surprise, but promises more. The letter encourages Cleo to travel to Montana, where she will find a program called Brook Haven Ranch. There is a new horse waiting for her there, and a new life.
March 23rd, 2017 - Cleo Arrives at Brook Haven
Sure enough, as the letter described, there's a job waiting for Cleo, and a new horse (a Dutch Warmblood gelding Cleo will name Scout).
March 26th, 2017 - Cleo Receives Second Letter
April 8th, 2017 - Cleo Receives Third Letter
From Beyond the Grave
Six months ago, Cleo's husband Alexander died. It was sudden and unexpected -- for her. Alex had known that it was coming, but he had protected her from the worry of his death by keeping his illness a secret. Instead of worrying and fretting and fussing over him for the last few months of his life, Cleo was able to live normally, and he was able to live out his days in relative peace and comfort. His death hit her hard, however, and she has not been the same since Alex passed away. Losing her husband has made Cleo skittish and anxious about everything from her finances to any other buried family secrets.
Three months ago -- three months after Alex died and two weeks after she moved to Trader's Bend, Cleo began to receive letters in the mail from her husband. At first she was furious that someone would be so cruel as to send these messages to her, but then she remembered that she had seen this in a movie that she and Alex had watched together two years before he died: P.S., I Love You.
In the beginning, this angered her, but the letters kept coming, one every two weeks. Sometimes the letters sent her on small adventures, and some of them gave her tips for moving on with her life. So far there have been four of them, and she's learning more about her husband since he died than she is sure that she knew while he was living. One thing that Cleo knows for sure is that she loves her husband more than she could ever have imagined, and he is no longer a part of her life. It's crushing to have lost him at such a young age.
She has no idea who is sending the letters posthumously, but she's also not trying to find out. It's enough to know that he loved her enough to set this up for her so that she would have some comfort in his death.
Getting Away from It All
Before Alex died, Cleo was a professional equestrian, working her way through the eventing circuit. Prior to that, she won silver, and then gold. She competed first in 2008 and then in 2012 before taking two years off and picking up a professional career at the age of twenty four. Her professional career lasted for three years until Alex died and Cleo decided to take some time off for herself.
By no means famous, Cleo should have been able to live her life in relative privacy, but people in the local show circles in Suffolk recognized her, and she could no longer handle their looks of sympathy (or pity). Bitter to the point of developing a cynical side she'd never had before, Cleo felt that the others were merely glad that she was "getting out of their way" and the bitterness of losing her husband caught up with her. Cleo had to get away from the people she'd known, go somewhere different, and start a new life.
It wasn't that she wanted to forget about Alex; It was that without him she was no longer sure of who her friends were, and she needed something to keep her grounded. Riding was the dream, and she wanted to do something which would help her to find who she was apart from the Olympics and her reputation in England.
She moved to the United States, to a ranch where she could work with horses and with troubled kids who deserved a shot at becoming something bigger than what they were before. Most people here don't know Cleo or who she was before Brook Haven and it gives her the opportunity to carry on her husband's work helping troubled youth to get their lives on track. For Cleo, it's a win-win, and she has dedicated her work here to Alex.
In His Name
Cleo's husband, Alex, was a good man who had dedicated his life to helping troubled youth to recover from addiction, abuse, and mental illness. He was the sort of person who went to work every day with a smile on his face and came home exhausted and heartbroken because the people he worked with were all so devastatingly broken. He was committed to being a man who gave kids another start to become something better than their circumstances, and Cleo had always shared his triumphs the same as he had shared hers.
Now that she's working on Brook Haven Ranch, Cleo has come to the realization that a win for a troubled teenager could take so much more work than her wins in the field. It amazes her every day the struggles that they have to go through, and the fact that they are training in a different way than she did, but working just as hard. She's learned how to celebrate their victories with them the way that Alex used to celebrate her victories with her, and it has made her think of the fact that in some ways, these kids are fighting their own sort of triathlon.
She's kept his memory alive for herself -- and will continue to do so -- by dedicating the work that she does on the ranch to Alex. Because he helped her to see troubled kids as a different sort of warrior or hero, she has created a way to reward the students in her group for their successes by recognizing them as heroes in their own right. It's something which her husband did and would have approved of, and therefore she does this in his name, calling it the Alexander Turley award for excellence in recovery.
Cleo is an Olympic silver and gold medalist (2008 and 2012) from England. She's spent most of her life committed to her sport (eventing), pouring long hours into practices when she was a child. It was early mornings in the practice arena and late nights at her desk studying, as her parents refused to accept anything but the highest marks on her reports from school. As a result she is well-rounded, intelligent, and somewhat academic -- surely capable of helping most students with their work, for certain. She's spent most of her life around horses so they are not new to her, and she loves her work with these amazing animals.
When Cleo was twenty-four, she married a man named Alexander Turley, who was the second great love of her life -- after eventing. An amazing, forward-thinking man, Alex taught Cleo everything that she now knows about troubled kids, but most of all that they are nothing if not full of possibility. He died six months ago, and since then Cleo has been picking up the pieces of her shattered life.
She has thrown everything into her work on the ranch. Instead of allowing her husband's death to crush her, she has allowed it to raise her up and buoy her up so that she can be more of what she already was. His experience with troubled kids in England may not translate directly to American kids, but it has given her a wealth of knowledge about how to support these children, making Cleo an excellent candidate for the job.
Although still grieving and not altogether herself, Cleo is a kind person with a gentle soul who loves to help other people as much as she possibly can. She has a tremendous heart for the kids with whom she works, but sometimes struggles to put aside her judgments of their problems and the urge to correct the smallest of their mistakes. It's difficult at times not to let her own perfectionism affect the way that she handles the kids, but she does her best to follow in Alex's footsteps.
This doesn't mean that she isn't judgmental of the adults on the ranch, however. She watches everyone, constantly assessing their status in every capacity, and while she doesn't generally tend to be mean, her demeanor can be off-putting to those who are aware that she is sometimes looking down her nose at other people on the ranch, even when they are simply hard working ranch folks trying to get by.
The main problem for Cleo is going to be in making the friends. Whether it's because she's British or her background in equestrian sports, she gives off the sense of being "snooty" and therefore many people find her unapproachable. It's true that she is judgmental and that she doesn't always allow people to prove themselves before she makes a decision about who they are. First impressions definitely die hard with Cleo, and getting past them can be extremely difficult.
What I'm trying to say is that getting close enough to be a friend to Cleo is going to be tough since she holds everybody at a distance by judging them for their inadequacies.
With that being said, Cleo is a remarkably loyal, loving friend. Where she struggles to pick up on cues with relative strangers and acquaintances, she is the sort of supportive friend who knows when to pull out the wine and a gallon of ice cream, but also when to push her friends to chase their dreams. She's stable with her friendships, but not always consistent, and friends may find that while she always gives her best to them, her best may change from time to time.
Either way, Cleo is a good friend who loves her friends and tends to be very close with a small group of female friends. Male friends will be unusual for her.
She'll meet most of her friends through the ranch of even Hillbrook, as Cleo is a committed, sincere, professional equestrian who will relate best to those with similar interests to her own. Her friends will be mostly female (as she relates better to females than she does to males), and they will enjoy many of the same things that she does: Painting, tea, wine, and fine cuisine, as well as equestrian sports.
Cleo lost her husband about four months ago. He died of cancer, and never told her that he was sick until he was hospitalized at the end of his life. She was very in love with her husband, who worked with troubled kids in Suffolk, England. Her income was what mostly supported them (an Olympic gold medalist with endorsements), but they were both comfortable with that. Alex was a very good man and Cleo loved him intensely -- and he loved her back.
So when it comes to love, she's currently in a very vulnerable place and not ready to think about romance with another man. She misses Alex intensely and she's not interested in replacing him. Right now she's still receiving letters that he's had sent to her posthumously. These keep her connected to him, but at the same time his letters have already begun to encourage her to move on.
Romance is possible, therefore, with Cleo; It's just going to take a lot of time to get her to the point where she's comfortable with romance.
Cleo is a wonderful lover, affectionate, kind, and always putting her partner before herself. That being said, she can be so self-sacrificing when it comes to her romantic partner that she needs somebody who is able to put her first. A real romance for her is a relationship in which her partner puts her needs before his own, and she does the same. Fortunately, she may have a romance already planned out on this site, so if that pans out, this won't be something to be concerned about.
Her ideal mate is somebody who works in a helping profession, either a social worker or someone who works to help animals.
When somebody is as judgmental, and obviously stuck up as Cleo is, it's easy to form some tense relationships. She tends to hold tight to her first impressions of people and those first impressions can be quite harsh. There are certain types of people who she's never going to like, and that is sometimes based on the culture or the socioeconomic status of that person. Though she herself is only middle class (British), she has a hard time comprehending the lower classes and the reasons why they remain stuck in one place.
There will, therefore, be plenty of people who don't like Cleo because of her general attitude toward people. She's going to rub them wrong, mostly because they rubbed her wrong first, and these clashes are likely to be intense. It's difficult for Cleo not to say what's on her mind, and she will state that she doesn't like the way that a person does something if she has judged it inadequate -- which is common.
Her most likely enemies will be among the other staff members at Brook Haven. Students are another story (see below) and while she might judge them, Cleo is more careful about not making her judgment as obvious as she does with adults. She tries hard to be kind with the students, as Alexander would have been when he was alive. Staff are obviously another story, as in her mind they should already have bettered themselves.
When it comes to these relationships, Cleo gives as much as she takes, and she can be a force to be reckoned with. Enemies will likely get their feelings hurt at some point as she lashes out at them.
Cleo's not ready to think about the possibility of adoption -- yet. In the future, however, she may be willing to consider adopting a child. It was a lifelong goal of hers to have a family, and she desperately wanted to have children with Alexander. The pair of them had two miscarriages before Alexander died, and she was never able to carry a pregnancy to term. Before he died, Alexander and Cleo had talked about the possibility of adopting a child.
The idea is still in Cleo's mind, so this is something that could happen. Her interest would be primarily in adopting a younger child (between 3 and 6 years old), but she could be persuaded to adopt the right young teenager if she came into contact with somebody whose situation and personality worked for her. It would take a lot of time to get to this point, however, and therefore Cleo shouldn't be rushed or pushed to make a decision about adopting a teen on the ranch. This sort of relationship should build slowly so that both she and her child are comfortable with one another first.
It's hard to say what Cleo will be as a parent. The only thing that's for sure is that things will be awkward at first as she settles into what it means to take care of another person 24/7. She'll want to raise a person who has hope for a good future, but that may result in her being somewhat overbearing. One thing is for sure: She won't be the same person after the adoption as she was before it happened. Obviously this could result in some confusion for whoever she winds up adopting, but it could result in a strong relationship between her and the person she chooses to adopt.
Cleo believes in her students. If there is one thing that you need to know about the way that she leads her group, you should know that she believes in her kids. She also believes in supporting them and encouraging them to succeed by rewarding them for their successes. Recognition is important to her because it worked for her when she was competing. Being recognized for her effort was more important to her than even winning the award, and so she believes in praising her students for their successes rather than punishing them for their failures.
In fact, Cleo doesn't believe in using punishment much at all, so she'll wind up leaving most of that to Keith while focusing on encouraging the students to do more of the right things instead of discouraging them from doing the wrong things.
This might make her look like something of a pushover to the Ridgerunner students. And maybe she is, but she tries to make the reward worth making good choices and working hard. It's about more than privileges: It's about being recognized for excellent work. She's noticed over the years that people love to be recognized and pointed out for doing exceptional work for something that they've tried hard to accomplish.
No doubt this will make her popular with the students.
The first thing that most people think about Cleo when they meet her is that she's so busy looking down her nose at people that she can't see what's right in front of it. It's easy to get the feeling that she's judging a person, even during a first meeting, and it makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Those who aren't offended by her judgment may see a different side of her: A successful equestrian who has devoted her entire life to the love of her sport. There is also a third possibility: Some people might see the grief in Cleo's eyes and take the standpoint that her judgmental nature comes down to the fact that she is grieving (and therefore forgiving the poor first impression).
Stranger impressions are no doubt impressed with Cleo's track record of wins. Strangers will have heard of her either through word of mouth or by watching the Olympic equestrian events. She may also have appeared in some magazines dedicated to her sports. With no personal information about her, their perception will be that she is somebody who is dedicated to her sport and who loves her horses. Cleo has always shown a great deal of appreciation and affection for her animals, and this is something that the media will have picked up on and pointed out. So those who know of her without knowing her will likely base their opinions of her on this if nothing else.
Friends are the people who know Cleo the best, other than perhaps her late husband. They know her as a deeply loving, committed, and supportive person who loves with her entire heart and soul. She's the first to come to the rescue of a friend in need, to bring wine to the party, and to show up with ice cream when her friends need to cry their hearts out. This is a side of Cleo that people don't get to know easily, and though her friendships are few and far between, they are close. It means something if Cleo chooses a person as a friend, and those who are close to her know that it's special that she chooses to spend her time with them.
It's easy for Cleo to say that she has no family, but the truth is that she left behind a mother in England. Her mother is the one who drove her to compete, who taught her everything that she knows about horses. Her impression of Cleo is that she is a hard working person who fulfilled her filial duty by working hard to achieve the goals that her mother laid out for her. There are few emotional feelings between the two of them. Cleo was in a lot of ways a means to an end for her mother and she pushed Cleo hard. Even so, Fiona is satisfied that Cleo achieved her goals and she is happy to see Cleo moving forward with her life now that she has completed her Olympic years.
Rivals find Cleo tough. She is judgmental, snotty, and has her nose in the air. If she has judged that she is better than another person, she makes it obvious. Some rivals will feel insecure around her, while others will be ready to go toe-to-toe with her. Those who come at her will find her a formidable foe who will do whatever she can to beat them. Rise up against her, and Cleo's going to come out and perform to the best of her ability. Those who back off may make her cocky, and will ultimately see her as a weaker rival. She responds differently to the two different types of rivals, and each will have different feelings about her.
Most of Cleo's enemies are rivals gone rogue. They are the people who know that she looks down on them and who don't appreciate the fact that she considers herself to be better than most -- and not just at something, but in the general sense that she's better than them. Their reason for disliking her is generally her haughty nature. Her nose is so far in the air that she can't see the road in front of her, and many wish that she would trip over the cracks and fall flat on her face. Unfortunately for them, that hasn't happened yet.
Authority figures generally love Cleo because she is hard working and committed to doing the best that she is capable of. She strives not just for greatness but for perfection, and she only rarely slacks off from the goal. If an authority wants something done, they can go to Cleo and it will definitely get done in a timely manner. Moreover, she does her job on the ranch well and her methods of motivating students often work better than expected, earning her a great deal of respect from the authorities who employ her. This makes for some excellent relationships.
Cleo surprises most of her coworkers. A distinct underdog in this field of wrangling teenagers (because she is such a newcomer to the sport), she has quickly proven that she is capable of motivating them and of getting good results out of them. For this reason, if for no other, her coworkers tend to be in awe of her, and admire her ability to get them to do the things that she wants them to do without punishing them. Some coworkers might ask her why and how she does what she does, and she is always willing to share the way that she manages to make things work for them.
Cleo is passionate, gentle, giving, and selfless when in a relationship. The only person who has previously gotten to know this about her is her late husband, Alexander. He's the only man she ever loved, and she cannot envision herself in a relationship with somebody else because of how deeply committed to Alexander she was during their five-year marriage. Her love is deep and abiding, and she is incredibly faithful to the person with whom she is in a relationship. In the future, Cleo is not looking for a temporary dating situation: She's looking for marriage.
In the aftermath of her husband's death, Cleo is questioning everything about herself. She wonders if she was observant enough to see that he was in pain, if she was good enough to be his wife, if he deserved better than she is. She stopped competing when he died in part because she doesn't believe that she is capable of performing at the level that she previously performed. Everything has fallen apart, and if there is one word that she would use to describe herself, it is probably "inadequate."
When Cleo is gone, people will talk about her as having been a spirited, driven, accomplished equestrian who spent her life after the Olympics doing everything she could to bring hope to troubled children. She will be remembered much as her husband is: As somebody who sacrificed in order to provide a future for kids who didn't otherwise have anything to look forward to. Many will remember her as being a hero who worked tirelessly to improve the outlook for the students of Brook Haven Ranch, and beyond.
Whoah boy. I had been worried that Cleo was going to be a flat character who wouldn't leap off the page when I was finished with her. All I had was a face claim (Claire Holt) with no sense of who she was or who she could turn out to be. Then, suddenly, Cleo hit me in the face with this amazing story and personality. I absolutely adore her, and I think that she is a lot more of her softer side than she is of her judgmental side. I hope you're going to love her!
Cleo begins every day with a workout that is specifically designed to maintain her core strength and to develop her physically for riding. She works her core and her legs in particular, building strength and posture so that she can perform better in the arena or in the field. This is part of her daily routine, and he performs her workout routine six days a week (skipping it on Sunday so that she can go to the church in town).
You know things are about to get serious when Cleo pulls her hair up into a pony tail. Most of the time she wears it loose in casual settings, or buns it at the back of her neck for events, but when she's about to make a point about something -- especially those rare occasions that somebody is in trouble with her -- she sweeps her hair (rather dramatically) up into a pony tail high up on her head. This gets her hair out of the way, but that signals that whatever is about to happen, she doesn't want it hanging loose.
Cleo goes out of her way to be prepared for anything. She packs a bag every morning that includes at least two bottles of water, her daily planner, three pens, sunglasses, sun screen, and an extra pair of gloves (among other things). Every morning she packs this bag up before work and every evening she puts it back together by checking every item before she heads home from work. Preparedness is important to her!
It might not be environmentally conscious of her, but Cleo only drinks bottled water. She doesn't trust the local water in spite of the fact that she definitely did not move to south of the equator, and bottled water has been her solution. Cleo will tell you that she prefers the taste of the bottled water, but this is just an odd little quirk. If it wasn't bottled, she won't drink it!
Perhaps less about Cleo and more about her late husband, Cleo is still receiving letters from Alexander after his death. She's not sure who's sending these since his death, but she devours the letters whenever she receives one, reading it thoroughly and then saving it. This is one way that she remains connected to her late husband, but it also prevents her from being able to move forward.
Five years ago Cleo took gold in the Summer Olympics for Eventing. She went pro shortly after her win, and married Alexander that same year. Her gold medal makes Cleo stand out, and it's one of the things that she's most proud of. Being recognized as a gold medalist is one of the highlights of her life and she enjoys it a great deal when people notice that she's the one who won gold in the London Olympics.
Although by no means something that Cleo takes seriously, she enjoys painting. Most of the time this is something that she takes outside onto her little porch at her place on the ranch and paints there, generally in acrylics. She wouldn't consider herself to be particularly good at painting, but she loves to do it and for Cleo, that's more important than being exceptional at something.
One of Cleo's favorite things to do when her husband was alive was to get dressed up in medieval costume and attend medieval and renaissance faires. She sews her own costumes and fits them nearly perfectly to herself. Cleo enjoys role playing both as peasants and as royals and has done pretty much everything in between as well. Her closet of costumes is enormous!
One might consider it to be part of her anachronism, but Cleo enjoys archery. She's not particularly skilled, but she can definitely hit the target, and she's learned how to make her own replica longbows and recurve bows. This is something she'd like to get better at, and she'd be interested in learning mounted archery as well, combining her two skills with one another and perhaps playing around with this in an anachronistic way.
Equestrian • Gold Medalist
Cleo has been riding horses since she was three years old. Her entire life from the age of eight onward was geared toward competition in the summer Olympics. Her mother pushed her, and she was a skilled eventer by the time that she was twelve years old. Riding is one of her greatest prides, something that she is better at than the majority of people she encounters. After all, she would be: She's a Gold Medalist in Eventing.
Sewing • Excellent
Because of her interest in anachronism, Cleo has been making her own dresses for years. She's become a skilled seamstress, and this is something that she generally enjoys doing (though it's more of a means to an end for her). She's sold a few dresses before when she's been finished with them, and in particular her maternity dresses that she made for this purpose and no longer needed after she miscarried.
Romancel • Excellent
It's a bit strange to call it a "skill," but Cleo is a hopeless romantic who is excellent at romancing the right guy. Her marriage was strong due to both partners putting in 100% effort into their marriage, so when it comes to romancing the next guy to come into her life (probably Tony Brook), she's going to put that same sort of effort into making things as romantic for him as he does for her.
When Cleo was in secondary school, she began to develop an interest in the creative development of historical stories -- anachronism. Not only does she enjoy creating her own version of history, but she enjoys reading other people's versions of history. This amounts to reading a fair bit of historical fiction (when she reads) and also to exploring history and culture from a variety of angles through role play as well.
If tea can be an interest, then Cleo is interested in tea. This is not meant to be some British stereotype: She genuinely loves tea and is fascinated by the different forms in which it comes. Cleo is, in fact, a collector of tea and tea memorabilia, everything from the teas themselves (bags, loose leaf, and so on) to tea pots, tea cups, and various tea-related devices.
Cleo has been riding horses since she was four years old, so they have become an interest of hers. It's everything from equine husbandry, to veterinary medicine, to riding itself. It's not just the sports that interest her but the actual animals, and Cleo has a real passion for making sure that her horses (plural) are well taken care of. If you get her onto the subject of horses, you might never get her off of it again!
Cleo is an adaptation of a previous character named Moira O'Malley. I chose to absorb Moira into Cleo because Moira's entire circle of friends became teenagers again, so that wasn't going to work. You might notice her name mentioned in Tony Brook's application: Cleo is Tony's new romantic interest, though obviously this is going to be a very slow-moving plot line due to Cleo's recent loss of her husband. This is in fact an incredibly important plot for her though, and I'm hoping to make the most of it!
Award for Excellence
Cleo wishes to introduce a recognition-based discipline system at Brook Haven -- at least for the Ridgerunners. Her intention is to find a way to give students an award of recognition for doing remarkable things on the ranch. She's not a fan of punishment or even of reward, so this award is more a way of saying "look what this student did!" to give them an incentive to work for the recognition the way that she has always worked for recognition in the equestrian arena.
Under Her Wing
In all likelihood, there will be a fair few equestrians on the ranch. Most, however, will not have competed at the level that Cleo has. She would love to have a special student or two who know who she is (in spite of this not being her country of origin) who love to ride and who she can take under her wing and counsel in a special way. I would personally prefer it if these students came from the foster care system or were very troubled kids. I'm not talking terrible behavior so much as I'm talking about them having rough histories of abuse and so on. Those are the kids she most wants to help.
Time Zone: GMT-5
Native Language: English
Preferred Word Count: 300-800+
Likely Triggers: positive adoption language, abortion, miscarriage, needles, graphic, bloody violence. if you tag these, i should be okay!
Your Other Characters: rachel vanderbilt, logan brook, isabella curry, rebekah brook, grace somers, nathan curry, william jenkins, katelyn yu, eleanor noble, montana sheridan, nadia grisham, anne howard
This seemed like the best person to first plot with Cleo. I'm not sure how these two are going to work together, and truth be told, I think the best way to find out would be to thread them together. Going with guesses, I think these two are going to get along just fine, which is good for their united front with kids.
Keith can't imagine how painful it would be if he lost Tara, and he doesn't have any way to relate to the heavy weight she's dealing with. I know that he doesn't support her award for excellence idea, and would like to push that with the kids, because he feels like it will motivate them.
When he discovers that she's involved with Tony, you probably shouldn't be surprised if she gets invited, then strong-armed into dinner at his and Tara's place.
Cleo & Amelia Roseso! I do think in the beginning that Amelia Rose would be super weary of Cleo-- since she is in (co-)control of the Ridge Runner group. I am sure that Amelia Rose would be a little paranoid that Cleo might be reporting back to her father etc. But I think eventually Amelia Rose could really look to Cleo for that affirmative emotional support that she has been lacking at home. In the beginning I see it being a little rocky, with Amelia Rose like scurrying away whenever possible. I do think it would be important for them to build a positive relationship giving Amelia Rose a reason to feel guilty when she continues risky behavior, and possibly someone in a position of authority to turn to. Also since Amelia Rose grew up in Europe it is VERY likely that she would have heard of Cleo-- because she's like relatively young Olympic rider-- which is like real rare. So I'm sure Amelia Rose heard of her through her trainers in Italy, especially since she took home the gold. (I think the average age for an olympic rider is like -- 40??? I think? I only remember this because when Reed Kessler competed in 2012 everyone made a huge deal that she made the USA team at 18). So I am sure that Amelia Rose will be a little like "what is she doing here? why is she here?" and a tad bit star struck, though the star struck-ness would be outweighed by her nerves. Hit me back!
Nolan's been in foster care since he was two. He excelled at academics, and spent most of his childhood keeping apart from the other foster kids, believing that his intelligence made him special.
When he hit his teens, that began falling apart as the competition to be the best student around intensified. His escalating emotions led him to brandish a knife at a foster parent, which got him sent to a group home. Teachers who worried about his performance recommended him to Brook haven.
Rereading the adults in Ridgerunner is making me really glad I put him here.
I expect Nolan's grades to pick up pretty much immediately once he's at Brook Haven - the classes aren't as rigorous as the honors classes at his old school, and BHR is very quickly going to be a better environment for him than the group home was.
It's going to matter a lot of Nolan that Cleo recognizes when he does well in school (which is one of the reasons he'll be doing better than he was at the end of the previous school year). There's also, as you noticed, some baggage around that that's going to make him very slow to trust Cleo, even while it matters to him that she's noticing when he does well in school.
Which is to say, I think you nailed this, and I'm not sure it needs threads for the moment.
Otter is the brains behind Brook Haven Ranch, which is the culmination of twenty years of roleplay admin experience. She developed Brook Haven in response to a personal need (both hers and River's) to have a safe place to work through some of the emotions brought about from childhood and adolescence. Brook Haven as evolved from there into a rich and complex setting which permits players to examine not only their own lives, but the way that other people live, so that we can better understand not only ourselves, but one another. It is, without a doubt, Otter's favorite playground.
Otter prefers threads with action, that move the plot forward or foster strong relationships between characters. She is not a fan of one-off interactions or most slice-of-life types of threads, and becomes bored with them quickly. Her preference when plotting is a "one-two-three" plot system (plot-reply-thread) and therefore she likes to provide (and receive) strong ideas that will lead to threads. Relationships are wonderful, but she prefers to foster them organically, which means threads with action first.
When she's not roleplaying, Otter loves to knit. Her favorite projects are socks and mitts (or mittens). Small projects suit her best, but she also enjoys knitting scarves and hats to donate to the local juvenile correctional facilities, victims of abuse, and otherwise the needy in the local area where she lives.
She also loves to read. Her favorite books are constantly changing, but she is a constant fan of The Hunger Games. She keeps a notebook (Leuchtreurm) with a list of the books that she's read with notes about who might enjoy them, and Otter loves to give book recommendations (but is pretty sure she's not good at it). She also has a blog that she frequently forgets to update with her book reviews.
Squirt joined Brook Haven after searching for a site focused on teenage growth in a detailed setting. She became a moderator after displaying initiative and interest. She comes with a wealth of experience in the Harry Potter and high school genres.
Every thread she participates in has a distinct purpose: to develop a relationship or further the character’s story. She quickly grows bored with one-off threads or stalled threads. She’s looking to play more antagonistic threads and difficult familial relationships.
In her spare time Squirt plays desktop video games, watches kids movies, fosters cats, and takes naps.
Ben has been a player on Otter and River’s sites for the last two years, and became a staff member on Brook Haven after when it was starting up again. He’s a big fan of both the detailed setting and the complex themes of the site.
Ben likes threads which move the character’s stories forward. Often those are high intensity emotional scenes, but sometimes they’re little moments in an ordinary day where people say the right thing.
Outside of roleplaying, Ben studies and teachers mathematics loves video games.
Hello members and guests! Brook Haven Ranch is now hiring! We are looking to fill positions for Outreach Admin, Events Moderator, and Global Moderator.
These are our criteria for inviting members to our staff:
Applying Member must have a minimum of one character before being invited to staff.
Applying Member must have been active on at least one character for one month before being invited to staff.
Applying Member must be over the age of 21.
Applying Member must have a good grasp of English spelling and grammar.
Applying Member must have demonstrated eagerness to plot with other members by reaching out to new members.
Applying Member must be actively participating in Weekly Encouragements.
Applying Member must demonstrate a presence in the cbox.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the staff, please let an administrator know of your interest. We invite members to join our staff when we feel that they are appropriate for the task.
At the present time, we are seeking an Outreach Admin, Events Moderator, and Global Moderator. Two of these positions are specialized, while a Global Moderator's purpose is to help with claims and to join the staff in reviewing applications for acceptance.
The Outreach Admin is responsible for leading the Outreach team in advertising Brook Haven Ranch on other sites, chatting with guests and new members in the cbox, greeting new members via personal message, and reaching out to members when there is a discipline problem which needs to be resolved. They help manage the Outreach team, which currently consists of one moderator.
The Events Moderator will assist the Events Administrator by creating and managing awards, brainstorming event ideas, and constructing prompts for event roulettes. They will be responsible for encouraging members to engage with events and activities on the site and are expected to participate in all events posted on the site (to lead by example).
We are looking only for outstanding members of this community who can lead by example and help others to see how we wish for things to be done. Our staff produce the best characters, generate the most exciting plots, and pursue excellence at every turn. If you are interested in becoming one of us, please make sure that you meet all criteria, and then inform an admin of your desire to join the staff!