Kathleen Mathews and Downtown Brown Take the Crown in the North American League Adult Hunter Finals
Upper Marlboro, MD – Competition at the 2022 Capital Challenge Horse Show at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, continued on Tuesday, October 4, with many of the professional divisions awarding championships. The star of the evening, though, was Kathleen Mathews, who was crowned the winner of the $10,000 North American League (NAL) Adult Hunter Finals after two rounds aboard her own Downtown Brown.
Riders qualified for this year-end final by accumulating points in the NAL Adult Hunter competitions throughout the year. Of the 28-horse-and-rider combinations, Mathews piloted “Dewey” to the first-round high score of 88. When the top 12 were called back for the second round, Mathews kept her composure, receiving an 86 from judges Gavin Moylan and Shane George for a winning two-round total of 174.
“When I went in for the second round, I just wanted to trust that Dewey was going to be there for me, because he always is, and not second guess any of the choices that I made,” explained Mathews, who trains with the team at Caves Farm in Owings Mills, Maryland. “He really stepped up to the plate and was super. He was jumping well and going around really nicely, so I was very happy with him.”
Hometown hero Mathews hails from Davidsonville, Maryland, just 20 minutes from the show grounds. Even with the close proximity, this is only her second time as a competitor at Capital Challenge.
“Growing up, I would always come and watch the show, and it was always such a fun experience and atmosphere,” said Mathews. “All the decorations and everything are so beautiful, so it’s been super fun to be here competing.”
Dewey has been with Mathews and her family for about nine years, and they’ve been showing together for the last five years. Mathews’s mother also rides the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding, and the family have brought him along together to this point.
“He’s the first horse that my family and I owned, and our whole family loves him,” stated Mathews. “I didn’t start crying today until my mom walked over, and she was crying because she knows just how much work we’ve put into him. He is just a super special horse.
“He is probably the most chill horse I’ve ever ridden,” she continued. “It takes a little bit of the pressure off of me, because I can always go in and know that he is going to do his job and be right there for me. He’s a really good boy.”
The reserve championship went to Jodi Lennox of Clarkston, Michigan, with First Blue LLC’s Better in Blue. Lennox, who trains with Greg Crolick, scored an 84 in the first round and the high score of 88 in the second round, for a combined total of 172. Rounding out the top three was Glenda Monkarsh of Las Vegas, Nevada, whose consistency paid off for a first-round score of 85 and a second-round score of 84.5, totaling 169.5. It was a good night for Monkarsh, who trains with Peter Lombardo, as she also picked up the seventh-place ribbon with her other mount, Speechless.