The RCMP Musical Ride helps a troop of wooden horses
When the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and their musical ride team gallop into our tiny community June 13, led, in our eyes at least, by local boy Jason Marsden, it will be more than just another fundraiser. It will be the marriage of two histories; traditions tied to the noble horse and to man’s love affair with equus.
The stop here in Roseneath, Ont., will be one of 22 performed throughout Ontario this year.
The boys in red serge and their steeds of black began the season with a hop across the pond where they spent two weeks touring Europe, capping off their tour with an exhibition celebrating the Queen’s jubilee. And come July they’ll head out west, making stops at the Calgary stampede and spending a month visiting Manitoba.
But it will be here that history will truly be made June 13 when the Alderville First Nation joins the Roseneath Agricultural Society in presenting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride at the fairgrounds. Not only is it the first time the First Nation community and the agricultural society have joined to present an event of this magnitude, but several unique opportunities will grace our event.
Imagine 32 red-serge clad Mounties galloping around on our beautiful 106 year old carousel. To commemorate this event the Mounties will be joined by several honored guests -- First Nations, law enforcement, municipal and agricultural society representatives -- to do just that.
We’re excited that the 6:30 p.m. pre-show event will feature the drumming and dance talents of our local First Nations youth. The 7 p.m. show will feature none other than Jason Marsden, an Alderville First Nations resident completing his three-year stint as a member of the Musical ride.
The troop of 32 horses and riders will perform a variety of cavalry drills choreographed to music. Working through a unique medium, they support the RCMP community policing efforts throughout Canada.
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, which will be enjoyed by tens of thousands of spectators in Ontario this year.
Members of the Musical Ride are first and foremost police officers. They all have at least two years experience in active police work before volunteering for duty with the Musical Ride.
And it all funds two very important and worthwhile causes:
(1) For more than 100 years our carousel horses here in Roseneath have rollicked ‘round and ‘round, delighting children young and old, tying the memories being made today with a unique history. But it is time that these horses be ensconced in a permanent home -- a building where they are no longer subject to the vagaries of heat and moisture damage.
(2) Just down the road there is a whole community of youth; First Nations youth who have a burning desire to see an outdoor hockey rink constructed close enough to home that they can walk to the rink and enjoy that finest of Canadian traditions; hockey on the outdoor pond.
The visit by the RCMP musical ride will fund both dreams. It will also help to fund youth events at the 144th Roseneath Fair, scheduled this year for Sept. 29-30 here at 9109 County Road 45. After the show everyone is welcome to come and meet the horses and riders. Advance tickets are $7.50 for adults and $3.50 for children 6-14. Gate prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Bleachers will be set up but feel free to bring a lawnchair and an umbrella in case of rain.
By Suzanne Atkinson of Roseneath, Ont.