My blouse distinctly smells of horse, but I don’t care! It can smell as horsey as it wants! Today I crossed off the RCMP Musical Ride from my Bucket List.
Growing up in Winnipeg, my parents mentioned every so often they would take us when it came to town, but for some reason or another, we never did go. Over the years I forgot about it. It wasn’t until I moved to Vancouver that I was reminded how much I had wanted to see the Musical Ride but never did when a co-worker mentioned he and his family had seen it three times since they moved to Canada
When I Googled it, I discovered that it came to the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition), although not every year. I kept putting it off. But this year, during Canada’s 150th birthday, I thought it was fitting to stop procrastinating and just do it.
I almost missed it! I had looked up dates and times for the Musical Ride on the weekend and knew that there were two shows on Aug. 22nd at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. But for some reason I thought yesterday was today. Lucky me I found out in time that one last show was scheduled for Aug. 23rd (today) at 1:30 p.m. I entered the PNE Agrodome with about 17 minutes to spare and I still had difficulty finding a seat – the place was packed.
Their warm-up was amazing, but when they came back into the ring to start the actual show, I must honestly say the RCMP Musical Ride was worth the fifty-plus year wait. In the past when I talked myself out of going, I watched footage on YouTube – they’re right: nothing compares to being there.
The troop is made up of 32 horses and riders, the riders wearing the famous red serge coats. The horses are black, no exceptions except for a small handful of feet wearing white “socks.” The music was a mix of rock, classical, military, pop, country, and jazz.
The announcer called out the formations. The main ones I personally enjoyed were: the four carousels, the wagon wheel, the star, thread the needle, and the swinging gate. The lance drill, designed to train officers how to defend themselves from all angles of attack, was pretty impressive, as was “The Charge” at the end of the programme.
Some random asides in no particular order:
- I didn’t care if I was in the midst of a rabble of children with parental units hovering in the background – I was determined to pet a horse
- I couldn’t spot the maple leaf stenciled on the horses’ rumps, even when I was up close
- each star on an RCMP officer’s uniform represents five years of service
- we were asked to stand for O Canada – yes, I did get the words mixed up
- RCMP officers only get to do the Musical Ride for one 3-year stint, then they return to active duty
- a boy behind me told his father he was bored and wanted to go – I turned around to tell them that it was just the warm-up, but they had already gone
I took a bunch of pictures at the PNE – every single one turned out just fine, except for the Musical Ride ones (hence the borrow from YouTube).
Source: Just2watch4fun YouTube channel: RCMP Musical Ride | South Interlake Rockwood Agricultural Society (SIRAS) | Stonewall, MB | August 2, 2016