A personal view of Knowlton, Quebec, the Eastern Townships most beautiful village.

RCMP Musical Ride Thrills Townshippers
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The RCMP Music Ride lines up in Knowlton The pagentry and pomp of the RCMP musical ride came to Knowlton June 24th and 25th visiting the Brome Fair grounds during the first annual Family Weekend at the popular fair grounds which included an antique car show, magicians, music and celebrity pig races!

The Brome Fair is celebrating it's 150th anniversary this year and the organizing committee wanted to bring a family oriented event to the fair grounds in June to take advantage of the wonderful setting instead of having only the annual Brome Fair during the Labour Day weekend. By all accounts the Brome Family Day at the fair was a huge success!

The RCMP Musical Ride was indeed the highlight of the weekend and both performances were well attended and the old wooden bleachers were packed with residents and tourists who were taking advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the incredible beauty of the musical ride. The show got started a bit behind schedule but the onlookers didn't seem to mind as a very talented troupe of acrobatic performers from the Russian Circus did a wonderful show of twirling, stretching, juggling and hula-hooping! Then came the magician who thrilled us all by somehow turning a silk handerchief into a large white duck...and then the duck into confetti right before our eyes! We are still wondering where that little quacker is!!

The RCMP Musical Ride is a combination of ballet performed by soldiers and horses. The RCMP uniforms were a crisp crimson red and made a stark contrast against the proud black horses. As they entered the fair grounds in fron ogf the bandstands you could feel the pride and hearst swelling from the onlookers! What a sight to have such a troupe of mounted soldiers on parade!

The horses pranced and galloped to a musical background and performed extremely precise movements forming swirling mazes and wheels and somehow managing to avoid bumping each other. The officers on the horses controlled their animals brilliantly, making sideways turns and tight circles in perfect sync to the music. It was quite impressive and the crowds applauded the various patterns that they created on the fields and from the upper seats it was indeed a glorious sight to watch!

One of the more familiar, and appreciated, Musical Ride formations was the "Dome," which may be familiar as the pose was once featured on the back of the Canadian fifty-dollar bill. The highlight of the Musical Ride was, of course, the CHARGE when lances, with their red and white pennons, are lowered and the riders and their mounts launched into the gallop. The dusts was swirling and the crowd cheered with appreciation!

The day was a huge success and seeing the police and horses in such a setting was a true Canadian moment. Thanks to all the organizers for bringing such a show to Knowlton!

The Musical Ride was developed from a desire by early members of the North-West Mounted Police to display their riding ability and entertain both themselves and the local community. Considering that the original Mounted Police members had a British military background, it was inevitable that the series of figures they performed were traditional cavalry drill movements. These movements formed the basis of the Musical Ride. Although it has been said the first Musical Ride was performed as early as 1876, the first officially recorded Musical Ride was performed in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1887.

Read more about the Musical Ride history at the official RCMP Musical Ride Website

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