Police officers from the Washington area took home a number of awards from the recent 2012 North American Police Equestrian Championships, including Officer Megan Lau, of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, or M-NCPPC, who finished as grand champion in expert equitation.

"It was very rewarding because on this horse I've done all the work with him myself," Lau said. "He was not very experienced, much less at being a police horse. It was a very rewarding feeling knowing you're doing something right."

The event was co-hosted in Gaithersburg by the U.S. Park Police and the M-NCPPC. The event attracts officers from law enforcement agencies across the country and Canada to compete each year.

Events included inspection, equitation and an obstacle course. This year's obstacle course included mini versions of Washington monuments and landmarks.

The M-NCPPC took the top three places in novice equitation, and its Montgomery County division won fourth place in the team obstacle, among 16 total awards for the M-NCPPC. The U.S. Park Police also received numerous awards, including second and third place in the combined novice equitation and obstacle event.

The District's Metropolitan Police Department also participated, with Officer Robin Szewczyk placing in two different competitions.

"You have to give credit to the animal, because it takes a special horse to do it," said Lau. "This competition tests the rider's ability to test the horse. I don't think people realize everything that goes into getting them to do this type of work, because they are flight animals."