More than 100 police officers and their horses from across the country converge on Gaithersburg this weekend to participate in the North American Police Equestrian Championships (NAPEC).
Held Saturday and Sunday at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, the two-day event features competition in three traditional divisions — Uniform, Equitation and the crowd-pleasing Obstacle Division — along with free family activities on Sunday.
The divisions are designed to highlight and test the working partnership, trust and communication that the officers have developed with their equine partners in the interest of public safety, according to a news release. During the Obstacle Division on Sunday, each officer will guide their horse through a series of obstacles, props and elements designed to test the training, trust, skill and abilities of both horse and officer.
Sunday's activities include 'Families and Horses Day' — featuring a series of mini-seminars about horses, free pony rides, horseshoes for children and other demonstrations — and a Police Awareness Day hosted by the Maryland-National Capital Park Police.
Officers from the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Greenbelt Police, Gaithersburg City Police, U.S. Park Police, Takoma Park Police, and more will be there to answer questions and hand out giveaways.
For details on the event, including a schedule, information on sponsorship and the “Host a Horse Hero” program, visit www.NAPECinc.org.