Po­lice of­fi­cer places in Top 10 at na­tional com­pe­ti­tion

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Bay Calendar - By DOUG BISHOP [email protected]­times.com

HAM­BURG, N.Y. — Cpl. Ash­leigh Beck-Mc­Grath, 35, of Stevensville, a seven-year mem­ber of the Mary­land Na­tional Capi­tol Park Po­lice Mounted Unit of Prince Ge­orge’s County, placed in the Top 10 in the Ex­pert Eq­ui­tation class at the na­tional na­tional mounted po­lice com­pe­ti­tion held in Ham­burg, New York, in Oc­to­ber. The Ex­pert class is for ad­vanced, vet­eran mounted po­lice of­fi­cers. The com­pe­ti­tion was hosted by the North Amer­i­can Po­lice Eques­trian Coun­cil, which was founded in 1983 to pro­mote such com­pe­ti­tions among mounted of­fi­cers from across the coun­try. Fifty mounted of­fi­cers from the U.S. and Canada com­peted in this year’s event. Beck-Mc­Grath was the only of­fi­cer from the Prince Ge­orge’s County mounted unit to com­pete in the Ex­pert di­vi­sion.

The other of­fi­cers from the Prince Ge­orge’s unit com­peted in the Novice Mounted com­pe­ti­tions, all of them do­ing plac­ing high. Lt. Bryson Evans, com­man­der of the Mounted Unit in Prince Ge­orge’s County, based in Mitchel­lville, was proud to an­nounce the plac­ings of all the of­fi­cers.

Ofc.John Fin­nerin, with his horse “Nate”, placed first in the Novice Eq­ui­tation class. Pfc. David “D.J.” Brown, with his horse “Duke”, placed third in Novice Eq­ui­tation. Cpl. Ja­son Miller, with his horse “Shadow”, placed fifth in Novice Eq­ui­tation, and Of­fi­cer Zach Mitzhewich, with his horse “Charger”, placed sev­enth in Novice Eq­ui­tation. The group also com­peted in Com­bined Ob­sta­cle and Eq­ui­tation classes, also plac­ing well.

In the Ob­sta­cle class the horse and rider are asked to test their skills against items one might find “on the street” rather than a tra­di­tional “trail ride” class at horse shows. Some of the ob­sta­cles in Ham­burg, N.Y., in­cluded hav­ing the horse stand still and not re­act to a jack­ham­mer be­ing used close by, a ce­ment mixer that was mak­ing a lot of noise, and a mov­ing van rear door quickly be­ing pulled up and then quickly pulled down (with the hope the horse world re­main calm). Those were not all the ob­sta­cles.

In the rid­ing di­vi­sions, the of­fi­cers were scored in three dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories: Eq­ui­tation, Ob­sta­cles, and and com­bined score of Eq­ui­tation and Ob­sta­cles.

The en­tire Prince Ge­orge’s Mounted Unit placed fourth over­all in the uni­form com­pe­ti­tion. For this com­pe­ti­tion, the horse, tack, and of­fi­cer’s uni­form and ap­pear­ance is judged.

Beck-Mc­Grath has lived on Kent Is­land for al­most a decade. She is an 11-year vet­eran of the MNCPP, join­ing the mounted unit a lit­tle over seven years ago.

Asked about her eques­trian back­ground, Beck­McGrath said, “When I was 10, my aunt signed me up for rid­ing lessons where we pre­vi­ously lived in Prince Ge­orge’s County. I stayed with it for awhile un­til we started jump­ing horses. I soon fell off and that was it, I was done.”

As an adult, she grad­u­ated from the Univer­sity of Mary­land with a de­gree in crim­i­nal jus­tice and found a job with MNCPP. The op­por­tu­nity pre­sented it­self for her to be­come a mounted po­lice of­fi­cer. She par­tic­i­pated in a 10-week train­ing class pro­vided by vet­eran mounted po­lice of­fi­cers and soon be­came part of the mounted po­lice unit.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Cpl. Asheigh Beck-Mc­Grath of the Mary­land-Na­tional Capi­tol Park Mounted Po­lice Uni, rides her Draft-mixed horse “Blaze” dur­ing the 2018 North Amer­i­can Po­lice Eques­trian Coun­cil cham­pi­onships. Beck-Mc­Grath, a Stevensville res­i­dent, placed in the Top 10 of the Ex­pert class at the com­pe­ti­tion.

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