A boy from Hanwell will share the stage with his biggest heroes tonight — members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Drew Foreman, a six-year-old RCMP enthusiast, won the New Brunswick Name the Foal contest for this year's RCMP Musical Ride tour and will be awarded his prize when the Mounties perform in Fredericton.
Drew chose the name Oscar. The contest rules said the name had to start with an O, and "I liked that name," he said.
Drew's mother, Natalie, said he was excited when he found out he won.
"He was a little surprised and, yeah, I guess he was just really excited," she said.
"And he was wondering when he would get his prize, like any kid would."
'Because they're cool'
Const. Julie Ruest, one of 32 riders participating in the Musical Ride, and one of four originally from New Brunswick, introduced her horse Dancer to Foreman and his family on Tuesday.
Drew is one of many kids who come to the Musical Ride and are thrilled to meet the officers, she said.
"We've been already through a few provinces and the turnouts are incredible," she said.
"It's nice to see them want to be a part and play their part in Musical Ride."
Foreman wore an RCMP-uniform-style pyjama set to meet Ruest and Dancer at the stables on the Capital Exhibit Centre grounds, where the Musical Ride cohort will put on a second show Wednesday night.
When asked why he likes the RCMP so much, Foreman's answer was simple.
"Because they're cool. … They have horses," he said.
Foreman even has his own Mountie hat, which he left at home on the hot Tuesday afternoon.
His mother said his love for the RCMP was kick-started when the family saw the Musical Ride a few years ago, and it blossomed from there.
"I'm not even really sure why he liked it so much, but we talk about the RCMP at home and we talk about how they keep us safe and the kids do play pretend and dress-up," she said.
Eyes on the prize
Foreman was quiet when he met Ruest, but his face often lit up with a small smile when the horse bobbed its head, eager to get the show on the road.
This is Ruest's first year with the Musical Ride since joining the RCMP almost eight years ago. She had never even sat on a horse's back before, but now she loves performing with Dancer.
"I thought it would be a fun and exciting challenge for me, and to be able to rep the RCMP in such a fun and positive way," she said.
During the Musical Ride, the RCMP and their horses execute a variety of intricate figures and cavalry drill, choreographed to music.
This year's second and final performance in Fredericton begins at 7 p.m., where Foreman will finally get his prize.