Kathleen Mathews and Downtown Brown Take the Crown in the North American League Adult Hunter Finals
October 4, 2022 - Upper Marlboro, MD
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
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.
Click here for the full results of the NAL Adult Hunter Championships
Competition on Tuesday at Capital Challenge also included championships for 12 professional hunter divisions.
High Performance Conformation Hunter
Sponsored by New Vintage Farm & RPW Show Horses LLC
Champion: Can Can, ridden by Christopher Payne and owned by Stephanie Ring
Reserve Champion: For Always, ridden by Scott Stewart and owned by Dr. Betsee Parker
Green Conformation Hunter
Sponsored by Joie Gatlin & Morley Abey Show Jumping
Champion: Only Always, ridden by Nick Haness and owned by John & Stephanie Ingram, LLC
Reserve Champion: Whimsical, ridden by Scott Stewart and owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC
High Performance Hunter
Sponsored by Windsor Show Stables & Michael Britt-Leon & Kelly Sims
Champion: Lafitte de Muze, ridden by Amanda Steege and owned by Cheryl Olsten
Reserve Champion: Autograph, ridden by Hunt Tosh and owned by Ceil Wheeler
Green Hunter 3'9"
Sponsored by Lannie Lipson
Champion: Paisley Park, ridden by Geoffrey Hesslink and owned by Little Brook LLC
Reserve Champion: Laskano, ridden by Jimmy Torano and owned by Isalou, Inc.
Green Hunter 3'6" Section A
Sponsored by Peter Pletcher & PJP Farm
Champion: Guess Who, ridden by Elizabeth Boyd and owned by Irene Neuwirth
Reserve Champion: Casanova Royal, ridden by Scott Stewart and owned by Stephanie Danhakl
Green Hunter 3'6" Section B
Sponsored by Lee Sadrian & the Kellogg Family
Champion: Jenkins, ridden by Nick Haness and owned by Glade Run Farm LLC
Reserve Champion: Juan Carlos, ridden by Elizabeth Boyd and owned by Irene Neuwirth
Green Hunter 3' Colts & Geldings
Sponsored by Boggs Hill/Mr. & Mrs. Tim Goguen
Champion: Florian, ridden by Scott Stewart and owned by Dr. Betsee Parker
Reserve Champion: Roper, ridden by Christopher Payne and owned by New Hope LLC
Green Hunter 3' 7 & Over
Sponsored by David Belford & Christopher Payne, New Hope LLC
Champion: Kyoto, ridden by Geoffrey Hesslink and owned by Brendan Williams
Reserve Champion: Golden Goose, ridden by Holly Orlando and owned by Privet Farm, LLC
Green Hunter 3' 6 & Under
Sponsored by Jennifer & Roger Smith
Champion: Circa, ridden by Nick Haness and owned by Glade Run Farm LLC
Reserve Champion: Divine Romance, ridden by Patricia Griffith and owned by Hallowell Lane Farm LLC
Green Hunter Mares 3'&3'3"
Sponsored by Aquitaine Equine
Champion: Arosa B, ridden by Amanda Steege and owned by Samantha Kramig
Reserve Champion: Avila, ridden by Elizabeth Boyd and owned by EMO Stables
Green Hunter 3'3" Section A
Sponsored by Hunt Tosh, Inc.
Champion: Tiesto, ridden by Lexy Reed and owned by Cecelia Perry
Reserve Champion: Coconut Grove, ridden by Elizabeth Boyd and owned by Irene Neuwirth
Green Hunter 3'3" Section B
Sponsored by Hunt Tosh, Inc.
Champion: Kuba Libre, ridden by Nick Haness and owned by Jaime Auletto
The North American League Finals are the culmination of the NAL’s year-long Series that includes classes at hundreds of horse shows across the United States and Canada. The NAL offers year-long series in five divisions: Children’s Hunter, presented by Charles Ancona; Adult Hunter; Children’s Jumper, presented by EquiFit; Adult Jumper, presented by SmartPak; and Low Junior/Amateur Jumper, presented by HorseFlight. The NAL series conclude with year-end finals for those who accumulated the most points in their divisions over the course of the season.
The 2022 Capital Challenge Horse Show schedule on Wednesday, October 5, is action-packed, featuring the $25,000 KASK/Vogel Green Hunter North American Championship, sponsored by the Wheeler Family, as well as the $25,000 World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Challenge, sponsored by The Rein Family, and the $10,000 WCHR Developing Pro Challenge, sponsored by John R. Ingram Fund. Grand champions will also be named for the professional divisions, while competition continues through October 9.