The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride returned to the Peace River fairgrounds on August 27. About 2500 people came out to enjoy the iconic Canadian tradition.
The musical ride has been ongoing since 1876. It features a troupe of 32 Mounties on black horses who present a half hour show of choreographed drills to music.
This year’s event was presented by the Peace Regional RCMP and organized by Roxanne Noss of the Peace River detachment with the help of a committee of dedicated volunteers. Many sponsors and organizations including 4-H pitched in, and the event helped raised money for local non-profits and charities such as Victim’s Services.
The event was also a special reminder of Peace River’s history as part of the Town’s centennial year.
“I am not sure how many of you know, but the musical ride was an almost daily occurrence in Peace River of a 100 years ago – generally without the music,” Peace River Mayor Tom Tarpey said during his introductory speech.
Tarpey quoted one of Peace River’s first school teachers, Jean Kelly Cameron, who wrote about what the mounted police looked like back then.
“When it was time to exercise the Royal North West Mounted Police horses a number of constables used to canter through the village on horseback, each leading a second horse. The contrast of their scarlet coats against the surrounding snow made one of the most unforgettable pictures I had ever seen, and I never failed to get a thrill out of it, even when the background of the picture changed from white snow to green foliage,” she wrote.
The site of the mounted riders was no less thrilling for the modern audience as the skies cleared and the Mounties were bathed in golden sunlight while they urged their horses into complex patterns.
The musical ride previously performed in Valleyview and High Level, and will be in Whitecourt next.