Trotting Their Way Around SW Ontario

During the 2016 RCMP Musical Ride performance at the Dresden raceway. August 24, 2016. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

A shocking amount of people showed up at the Dresden raceway to show support at the 2016 RCMP Musical Ride.

Despite the cloudy skies and scattered rain drops, about 32 riders saddled up onto their horses Wednesday night and gave a performance that made the crowd cheer.

Sergeant Jeremy Dawson says he is shocked by the amount of people who showed up.

‘”When I came here they were putting more grandstands in and I looked at the grandstands and said ‘they’re huge already,'” says Dawson. “As soon as I came around the turn and saw the people I’m like (gasp) – simply amazing!”

Dawson says he’s very proud of how well the performance went.

He adds, about 95% of the riders had never even ridden a horse before getting trained for the musical ride.

One of the riders who joined with very little experience was Constable Steve James from Sarnia.

“I think I’ve been horseback riding three times in my life, prior to joining the RCMP musical ride,” says James. “They really trained us all right from scratch.”

Besides the thrill of performing James says being in Dresden has an added bonus.

“It’s really a thrill to be back home close to Sarnia,” says James. “It’s been quite a fun experience [being part of the musical ride].”

James and the other riders spend about 15 hours a week training and he says all of that time spent with his horse has created a bond between the two.

“It’s just like having a pet, like a dog or a cat,” says James.

The 2016 RCMP musical ride is touring through Southern Ontario and Manitoba, wrapping up in the middle of October.