Gateway Gazette

Kick off – Alberta and Calgary Stampede

Check out this video from Musical Ride members and Brothers Cst. Derek Quilley with his horse Cybil and Cst. Matthew Quilley with his horse Bentley, at the Musical Ride Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, before leaving for the Stampede.

The Quilley brothers are from Red Deer.

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The Musical Ride originated from the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) as they made the Great March West across Canada in 1874. Although the original NWMP were scattered in small groups over tens of thousands of miles of unsettled prairies, they routinely practiced both mounted and foot drills.

In this time, Sergeant Major Robert Belcher and other members who directed the mounted training had been members of the British Cavalry regiments and had experience in performing drill displays. Only after the men of the NWMP had formed their own band, did the riding displays take the form of the Musical Ride as we know it today. The performance of the drill movements accompanied by music helped the NWMP to entertain themselves during the evening or while off duty.

(Information and photos courtesy of the RCMP)

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