Antonia, out of pure survival instinct, let go of the reins and flung her arms around his neck. Bruno back stepped frantically, trying his hardest to keep Antonia on. Finally, he regained his balance and landed on all fours.

The crowd was silent, their mouths a sea of stifled gasps. One of the judges stood up as if to come to Antonia’s aid, then remembered his place and sat back down. Mrs. Bianchi stood watching with her hands clutching her chest and her mouth holding in a huge breath.

Bruno turned his ears to Antonia and swished his tail. What do I do now? he seemed to he asking her. Antonia thought about it and then calmly turned him around, walked him to the gate, dismounted, opened the gate, led him through, and walked with her back straight and her eyes focused on the sky through the shocked crowd.

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