Chapter Fifteen: Winning

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Everyone congratulated me on my outstanding performance on the course. Trusting almost no one, I brought Mason with me to go to Student Support. I hand him Raquel as I walk inside.

"Hold her here, don't move, don't let anyone touch her," I warn. Inside the building, I see the academy principal, superintendent and student support advisor standing behind a desk, looking at Sara and Jess. Lynn is handing the principal the bridle, and she looks at it suspiciously.

"Is there anymore damaged tack?" she asks me.

"Yes, all of it. Would you like to see?" I ask.

"Yes, let'ss go on a little field trip, you two," she says, addressing Sara and Jess. I walk outside and take Raquel from Mason, and lead the train of people to the barn. There are a few barn hands inside the barn, but the principal ushers them out. I put Raquel on the cross ties, grab my keys, and open my cubby. Carefully, I grab my saddle, saddle pad, girth, and jumping boots. They all have shiny pins on them.

'Why did you girls do this?" the superintendent asks the girls. The shrug and look at the ground. "I asked you a question. Why did you do this?" he asks again, getting angry.

"Because we don't like Cameron," Jess says, smirking at me. I smile back.

"One of the things this school values the most is respect. If you can't respect one of our top riders and students, we aren't going to allow you to continue your stay here," the superintendent replies.

"What? You can't do that!" Sara says histerically. "You can't just kick us out!"

"Oh, you're right," the superintendent thinks for a minute. "I'll call your parents, tell them what you did. Then, I'll kick you out, no refunds or anything. Plus, your parents have to split the cost of all new tack for Miss Cameron here."

"What?!" Jess says, kicking the ground. "Thats not fair! We pay to be here!"

"And you signed a waver before you came here, vowing to be respectful of the school, it's students, and the horses," the principal says, pulling two papers out of a folder. I remember signing that paper a few months before I arrived here. "I'm not arguing anymore, you have to be off campus in two days, no excuses. Cameron and I will be speaking to your parents.

~

Back in the principal's office, Principal McGounna makes a phone call and puts it on speaker.

"Hello?" the female voice replies, sounding grainy.

"Hello, Mrs. Venier, I'm calling you to talk about Jessica's behavior," Mrs. McGounna explains. "She has violated our expectations and put another student and her horse in danger."

"Oh dear, what has she done?" Jessica's mother asks. The principal motions for me to speak.

"I'm Cameron Taylor. She and her friend Sara put many pins in my horse tack without me knowing. If my trainer didn't overhear Jessica speaking about it, my horse would probably be paralyzed due to needles in her spine," I say. "My tack is completely ruined and I can't use it anymore."

"Dear God. I am so sorry about that, I never knew that Jessica would do such a thing," she replies. "But, Cameron, what did you do to make Jess do that to you?"

"Cameron is our top cross country student at the school. Not only does she have exemplar grades, all A's, she is extraordinary at her sport. Jessica was jealous and wanted her gone," the principal explains. All A's? The algebra quiz must've boosted my grade up.

"Cameron, I am so sorry. I will pay for the damaged tack and then some," Jessica's mom says. "Jess always was a jealous one."

"I'll get right back to you when we get the cost of the tack," the principal says, ending the call. We also call Sara's mother, who reacts almost the same exact way. Then we add up the price of my tack by calling my mother. She was shocked when she heard the news, but helped us anyways.

"The saddle costs $1,620, the bridle was $300, the girth was, oh what was it... Oh! Here it is... $54, the saddle pads are $35, and the jumping boots were $50. Anything else?" Mom asks.

"They spiked the reins, too," Principal McGounna says, studying my reins.

"Those are... $100. Are the halters all set?" Mom asks, sounding sad.

"Yes, they're fine," I say. "And I have a ton of bits in my dorm."

"Okay, total cost is $2,059," Principal McGounna says, looking up from a calculator. "Thank you for your help, Mrs. Taylor. We are going to call the girl's parents back with the cost." With that, she hangs up the call.

We call Sara's mother first and tell her the cost. $1,029.50 for each family to pay for their kid's mistakes.

Right when we hang up the phone after talking to Jessica's mom, Principal McGounna's door flies open and Mason, Reagan, and Maggie rush in. "I'll take care of your tack, go see what your friends have to sa," Principal McGounna says, motioning to the three teenagers who just bursted into her office. I thank her, get up, and rush outside.

"So, what's the news?" I ask, looking at them expectantly. Mason's the one to speak up.

"Okay, so first, I made the primary team for dressage!" he says excitedly.

"Oh yay!" I say, giving him a hug. "What about you guys?" I ask, pointing to Rea and Maggie.

"I made the primary team!" Maggie says . "You on the other hand, I have a story for you."

The three explained to me how so many people tried out, that Lynn made another subgroup in the team. There were only five people in the group, but it didn't matter. They were the elites.

And I was the captain of their team.

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