Mounties to ride into Alvinston rain or shine

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It will take some pretty extreme circumstances to stop the RCMP Musical Ride from coming to Alvinston.

The Brooke-Alvinston Agricultural Society learned last week it would be hosting one of Canada’s most iconic shows Wed. Sept. 14, just two weeks before the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Fall Fair.

The group applied for the ride this year to help mark its 140th anniversary.

RCMP Corp. Beth White, who is the tour planner for the Musical Ride, was in Alvinston Saturday to get a look at the grounds and to let the Brooke-Alvinston Agricultural Society what to expect from the event and what is expected of them.

There were the practical items; the 36 horses and riders need an enclosed space of 120 metres by 200 metres to perform, a place to unload their horses and set up when their arrive and a couple of  porta potties, so the Mounties aren’t waiting in line just before the performance.

White says the horse and riders will be staying in Exeter the night before and will be trucked to Alvinston about two hours before the performance. They prepare the horses and warm them up and then put on a half hour show for the crowd.

White assured the members of the society that it would be highly unlikely the event would have to be cancelled because of bad weather. “We go rain or shine,” she says. “I’ve ridden in snow and I’ve ridden in pouring rain.” She added one ride last year they performed during high winds and half of the ride members lost their stetsons.

About the only time the ride is cancelled is if there is lightening. “We ride around with big pointy sticks and we don’t want to be lightening rods,” she says.

The only other thing that would stop the ride would excessive rain the days leading up to the event which would make the ring too muddy for the horses. “The come first to us…their safety is important to us – they come before we do.”

White urged the group to come up with a pre-show to the event and sell tickets. Society officials say they’ll start a special page dedicated to the Musical Ride on the Brooke-Alvinston –Watford Fair website to get the information out about the event.

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