“I went in with a smile, and I came out with a smile.”

This quote has rung true so far for all three Havarah players at Fair Hill, but they came from Maddie’s lips.

She compared her experience of doing a 180 from her first, but still really successful, prelim at Pine Top in Aiken to her success thus far this weekend to a “test ride.”

Pine Top was just that to her, a “test”. She just wanted to make it through, end on her dressage score with only some time cross county.

They did this, very successfully, but Maddie said she came back home ready to take the preliminary level by storm.

When looking at the scores this morning, before doing the quick Facebook update, there’s the run through of names to get an understanding of how everyone’s day was going to pan out.

Reading through the list… Jane Doe… Some Random…. Maddie Parisan 28… Next Pers… WAIT WHAT!

There was a quick double take that I got the facts right and then there was a post to Facebook.

To be clear – it is not surprising this team is capable and deserving of this score. It’s the mere fact that he’s always been able to jump the moon, but Maddie has gone from Novice to Prelim in a year’s time, and that’s a huge leap for dressage obedience. So this score is AWESOME!

To continue, there was more pleasantries around the corner when seeing Molly got a 30 on Benny and a 26 on Rivan.

John Nunn also had a good dressage test and even landed himself on Eventing Nation with Molly.

So needless to say it was a bit of a sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat day. Hoping everyone pulled through, kept all four shoes on, and showed off their skills.

And they did.

Maddie was a bit intimidated by the skinny to huge drop on her course, but it ended up being her best ridden combination on course and she was even rewarded with a cheering section (some friends – some complete strangers!).

She didn’t have a watch, but obviously got in such a groove that she finished well inside the time, moving her from being tied for 3rd to 2nd place going into show jumping tomorrow.

John had a few unfortunate rails but he rode very well and had a good show jumping round.

Molly said Rivan, despite his lax show schedule, proved unfazed by his less-than-intense show program, and was confident stadium, landing him in a 4th place standing.

Benny felt more confident than ever according to Molly, and even though the fences were big, they felt small when being soared over by this cross country machine. He stands in 10th with only some time penalties added to his dressage score.

The entire crew is extremely proud right now, especially Maddie’s mom, Kim.

“I’m really proud of her and you know, it’s freaking awesome how far they’ve freaking gotten!”

She gives so much credit to Molly for taking Maddie and Carson as far as she has, and is so proud that her daughter has gotten so see and experience things she personally never got to experience at Maddie’s age.

Well, Maddie, Molly and John – we are all proud of you, and we’re all rooting for you tomorrow!

Photo courtesy of Stacy Lynne