Archive for 2013-07-03

Sunset Ceremony   2 comments

I’ll note that if anyone is following on twitter, some of what gets posted going forward may not necessarily be in the order it occurred in–I’ll try to give some sense of when it happened.

The Musical Ride

RCMP Logo SignWe made it to Ottawa, our first official destination of the trip. I wanted to go to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) stables, home of the Musical Ride. We had been out there before–basically, you get to tour their stables. I thought my daughter might dig it.

However, when I checked the schedule, I saw we could catch the Sunset Ceremony! This was more than merely touring the stables–we were actually going to get to see the Musical Ride in action! We quickly figured out what our schedule needed to be in order to see that.

But what is the Musical Ride? This is the demonstration team of the RCMP–a sort of Thunderbirds on horses. The team is made of up of riders in the traditional red serge uniform of the mounties, and they carry battle lances. The riders maneuver their horses through choreographed routines. It really is pretty cool (and I’m not a horse guy).
Musical Ride Rider

The Sunset Ceremony is a “thank you” to the people of Ottawa, where the RCMP is headquartered, and, as I mentioned, the Musical Ride is based. Because of the proximity to the training team and other units, the Sunset Ceremony is more than just a performance of the Musical Ride. They started with “competition” demonstrations among the Ride’s members, such as jumping.
Horse Jump 2

Horse Jump 3

Horse Jump 1

The search and rescue dogs where present. These dogs (and their owners) volunteer their time to search for lost people in the forests of Ontario.
Search and Rescue Dog Agility

These dogs have to go though training to demonstrate they have the agility and responsiveness to perform this task (which this group seems to do well).
Over the Wall!

RCMP/Ottawa Police Service Pipes and Drums performed, along with Scottish dancers.
Pipes and Dancers

A newborn horse followed its mother out to meet the crowd.
Mama and Baby

Then, it was time for the Musical Ride to start its performance. This maneuver is a “pinwheel.” We did something similar when I was doing Irish dance. It was difficult for four couples to maintain the cross without the outer partner creeping ahead, or one leg starting to be at a less-than-right angle. I can only imagine how difficult this was on horseback.
Four Lines in Gates

The Ride used their lances to form the “Dome.” This was on the back of the Canadian fifty dollar bill.
The Dome


The flag was lowered, bringing the ceremony to a close.
Lowering the Flag

This was a great opportunity. Perhaps I was ignorant growing up, but I had never heard of the Musical Ride until my mid-twenties, thanks to a TV show. Their schedule lists no performances outside of Canada. As I explained to my daughter, due to limited knowledge and opportunity, most people from the United States don’t have an opportunity to see them perform. It was wonderful that we were in the right place at the right time to take advantage of this opportunity to see them.
A Mountie and Her Horse

Posted 2013-07-03 by Mr. Guilt in Summer Vacation 2013

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