Nfld. & Labrador

RCMP Musical Ride horses a special treat for young hockey players

The RCMP Musical Ride is in Mount Pearl this weekend, and kids at a hockey camp on Friday got a special meet and greet at the Glacier.

Meeting RCMP Musical Ride horses

7 years ago
Duration 0:57
Young players at a hockey camp in Mount Pearl were in for a treat Friday, when they got to meet the RCMP horses in the Musical Ride

A group of kids at a hockey camp in Mount Pearl got a surprise on Friday: they got to meet the officers and horses involved in the RCMP Musical Ride.

The 36 horses made one of the rinks at the Glacier Arena their temporary stable ahead of this weekend's performance, and a group of young people at a Hockey Canada camp in the second rink got to visit.

"It was pretty cool coming here seeing all the cool horses — it's awesome," said 11-year-old Ty Mitchelmore.

"Best time at an awesome hockey camp and the horses are just a fun addition to it, so we're having a great time here."

Zach Coffey, left, and Ty Mitchelmore, both 11, say it was a great chance to meet RCMP horses at the Glacier on Friday.

The hockey players visited with each of the animals and collected the trading cards featuring details about individual horses and their riders.

"Memories for later, I'm keeping these — I got all of them. I collected them all," said Zach Coffey, 11. "It's pretty cool, riding these horses and they catch people."

'That's why I joined'

And that's exactly the kind of reaction the RCMP hopes to get from visiting communities as part of the annual Musical Ride.

"This is why I joined the musical ride," said Const. Ashley Taylor, who rides seven-year-old gelding Fergus.

"We want kids to be able to approach us, tell us their concerns, tell us anything that they want — and hopefully we'll build better relationships, and kids will feel comfortable reporting anything that's going on in their lives."
RCMP Const. Ashley Taylor, with gelding Fergus, says the Musical Ride is a great way to visit with Canadian kids and hopefully get them more comfortable with police officers. (CBC)

Taylor first started in the musical ride in June 2014, but before that had never ridden a horse.

She said it's a lot of work to get both animal and rider ready for the performances, with twice-daily hour and a half rides and choreography practice.

"We've had some pretty big shows on tour, I think probably my highlight would have been the Moncton show on the year commemorating the three officers that were shot and killed in Moncton," said Taylor.

"Fergus and I did that show and it was really an emotional, it was definitely my most emotional show that I've done for the musical ride."

Role model for kids

It's the first musical ride for Const. Jordan St. Croix, and he said it's been great to see so many families and young kids come out to get to know the horses and riders.

"We have a tradition here on the musical ride to get baseball cards made up for us, give out some information about the horses and the riders, and the kids just love them," he said.
RCMP Const. Jordan St. Croix, with gelding Warren, says the Musical Ride is a great chance to meet people in communities across Canada. (CBC)

"Any star or a professional athlete, they have a card and they [the kids] like going to those cards an imagining themselves, hey, could I see myself on one of these cards one day?"

For St. Croix, being featured on one of those cards has a special purpose for him.

"As a police officer, I see myself as a role model in the community. I think it's a great profession and if kids want to grow up and do that profession as well, I'm glad that I can be that symbol for them."

The RCMP Musical Ride is at the Mount Pearl Senior High rugby field Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. An open house at the Glacier Saturday from noon to 3:30 p.m. welcomes people to come and meet the horses before the performance.
A group of kids at a hockey camp in Mount Pearl got an unexpected treat Friday, when they got to meet 36 horses that ride with the RCMP. (CBC)

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