23 Jun 16
June 22, 2016
A Royal Ride for Father’s Day
Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
MORRISBURG – Father’s Day at Upper Canada Village entertained the masses as hundreds of people braved the sweltering heat to see the RCMP Musical Ride on Sun., June 19. The Musical Ride company is made up of 32 men and women who perform an intricate choreographed dance on horseback, set to music.
The riders and their horses will be touring across Canada this summer, having recently returned from performing for Queen Elizabeth II in England. One of the riders explained to the curious spectators that the horses are flown over first class and seven days in advance in order to ensure their utmost health prior to the performances.
The routine lasted approximately half an hour and was “phenomenal, as usual” commented a passing spectator. Families ranged from local regulars to travellers from Ottawa. The Rossi family was one that came down from the big city in order to experience the magic of Upper Canada Village. Father’s Day celebrant John Rossi, his wife and children all concluded that the show was “awesome.”
After the performance, the riders guided their horses to the outer area to greet the fans and answer questions. Constable Evan Collier RCMP officer from New Port Corner, Nova Scotia, was amount a 17.2 hand steed named Darby – the second tallest horse in the company. Darby is “10 years old and has been in the musical ride for five years,” Collier explained. The longest stint in the company for a horse was 15 years by a horse who lived to be 25.
The RCMP officers volunteer to be apart of the musical ride posting and while there is no need for them to have any previous equestrian experience – which many do not, they must have experience on the force for a minimum of two years. The riders remain in the company for three years with one third rotating out each year.
The Musical Ride is off to Ottawa next to do a week of sunset ceremonies, and then will head west to Manitoba. After one year of training twice a day for an hour and a half each, the riders and horses are eager to strut their stuff for the raving fans.