WATCH: With their boots polished and hat brims pressed, the RCMP Musical Ride will perform in Victoria and Colwood this weekend. Ceilidh Millar reports.
Cst. Melissa Trzecak and Gracie, her eight-year-old mare, have been performing in the RCMP Musical Ride together since 2016.
“She’s one of our tallest mares,” Trzecak explained. “She is 17.3 hands tall and has a wonderful personality.”
Trzecak was chosen as one of 36 officers from across Canada to perform in the show.
“It’s an honour to be part of it. It’s a big part of the tradition and the RCMP in Canada.”
The show is a brilliant display of horsemanship with intricate figures and drills set to music.
The performance has been dazzling audiences since the 1870’s, but this year’s tour is perhaps the most meaningful.
“It’s the 150th anniversary of Canada,” Trzecak said. “We’re travelling across Canada so it’s a special tour.”
Ahead of their performances this weekend, the horses are being boarded at Hunt Valley Farms (North) in Saanich.
“It’s a symbol of Canada that is known all over the world,” explained stable manager Bjorn Bjornson. “They are very excellent horses.”
At least two officers are on shift at the stable 24 hours a day.
Each officer is responsible for training their horses as well as daily maintenance.
All of their materials including the ceremonial gear is packed into personalized tack boxes which weigh up to 150 lbs.
“Sometimes it takes two of us to lift the boxes out of the stable,” Trzecak said.
As they prepare for their show this weekend, they look forward to inspiring a new generation of Canadians as they serve their country with pride.
The RCMP Musical Ride performs Saturday, August 26 at Topaz Park and Sunday, August 27 at Royal Roads University.
For more information, visit the Victoria Military Music Festival Society’s website.