Thirty-two red-coated, broad brimmed hat-wearing Mounties will perform their very best choreographed drills on horseback this summer, as the RCMP Musical Ride is returning to the Comox Valley.
“They are an inspiration for our riders … we are absolutely thrilled,” said Barb Haffner, assistant program director for the Comox Valley Therapeutic Riding Society, whose stable will host the horses and riders. “Everyone loves the horses and the connection.”
She noted many of her riders — despite their disabilities — are very strong riders, and are aiming to strive to competitive levels.
The ride was last in the Valley in 2009, and is scheduled this year for two evening performances on Aug. 13 and 14 at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds.
Const. Nicole Hall of the Comox Valley RCMP said the Musical Ride was developed in 1876 by early members of the North West Mounted Police to display their riding ability and entertain the local community.
“It has evolved over the decades into a uniquely Canadian performance enjoyed by tens of thousands of spectators each year,” she noted.
Hall added members of the ride are all police officers with at least two years experience in active police work prior to volunteer for the ride.
“Surprisingly, most have no prior riding experience,” she added.
Haffner said the horses and riders are scheduled to arrive at their stables on Aug. 12, and encourages the public to visit and meet with them during the day of the performances.
For more information on volunteering or to support the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.