Riders charge at the RCMP Musical Ride in Kelowna on Aug. 8, 2018. Photo: Carmen Weld/Black Press

RCMP Musical Ride delights Kelowna crowd

After a 13 year break, the RCMP Musical Ride took over Prospera Place on Thursday.

There was showmanship, intricate moves, glossy coats and a whole lot of smiles yesterday as the RCMP Musical Ride performed in Kelowna.

Thousands of fans, young and old, poured into Prospera Place for both the matinee and evening shows.

Ticket holders were first given a lesson in dog agility by the talented pooches from the Central Okanagan Dog Agility Club before the Kelowna RCMP K9 team, Const. Reg Sahay and Ice, showcased the police dog’s talent in a perp take down.

Next Tara Staney and her team displayed aboriginal song, dance and drumming before Sophie Rideout got the crowd on their feet to sing O’Canada.

Excitement rose as the first signs of sleek dark horses and officers in red serge could be seen at one end of the arena.

Riders charge at the RCMP Musical Ride in Kelowna on Aug. 8, 2018. Photo: Carmen Weld/Black Press

Related: RCMP Musical Ride steeped in tradition, history

The group of 26 riders and horses made their way into the arena to much fanfare.

The riders displayed intricate patterns and tricks that had horse and rider barely missing each other as they passed. The show ended with a dramatic ‘Charge!’ from one end of Prospera Place to the other.

This mounted police and horse show is a historic event within the RCMP that dates back to 1887. It had not been performed in Kelowna for 13 years.

The group performs across the country to raise money for the Cops for Kids Charitable Foundation.

Related: Bringing the Musical Ride back to Kelowna

Cops For Kids was founded to support Southeast B.C. Interior residents in 2001, and has raised $4 million since then to assist families and children with medical treatment and equipment cost needs.

“Because of the need out there, we need to raise $400,000 to $500,000 a year to meet the needs of those families coming to us for help,” said Fletcher, citing the impact financially of the Musical Ride performances as a Cops For Kids fundraiser will be felt for months to come.

Fletcher added the hopeful financial success staging the Musical Ride is made possible from corporate sponsorship and donations, from the Prospera Place venue being provided rent free, to shavings from Gorman Brothers sawmill, sawdust from Tolko, the stalls from the Cloverdale Rodeo, to the TD Bank Group signing on as event partner.

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@carmenweld
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