By Constable Renée Everett, RCMP
I’ve been a member of the RCMP now for seven-and-a-half years, having started my service in the beautiful province of New Brunswick. I was born in Ghana, Africa, and I grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. This year will be my second on the Musical Ride, and I ride an eight-year old gelding named Gendarme. I had no previous riding experience except the occasional trail-ride growing up.
Although all our horses at the Musical Ride are black, Gendarme is truly one of a kind. He stands at 16.2 hands, has a wild forelock (which, I suspect, holds all his magical powers), a flowing thick bushy tail and a twinkle in his eye. The best way I can describe Gendarme is as a spirited ‘teenager’. Having turned eight on April 23, he embodies infinite energy and talent, but loves to test the boundaries when given the opportunity. Over the last several months, our bond has grown strong and I suspect Gendarme will have a long and very successful career on the Musical Ride. Look for him as a lead file in the near future.
Being a mother of a four-year-old and a member of the Musical Ride has its challenges. Leaving home to tour across Canada for weeks at a time can be daunting to say the least. However, knowing my son is in the competent hands of my husband and a strong support system at home gives me strength.
Having toured with the Musical Ride in 2016, first to Windsor, England for the Queen’s 90 birthday celebration, then across Manitoba and Southern Ontario, I look forward again to meeting with children in the various communities. Their enthusiasm and natural curiosity are always a highlight and provide me with the motivation to be at my best. It is important that my son sees me and is proud of my contribution to the RCMP and Canada. I hope it inspires him, even in just a small way, to pursue and accomplish many things in his life.
I sincerely look forward to travelling across Canada this summer with our big beautiful black horses and talented riders in iconic red serge’s to help celebrate Canada’s 150 birthday.
Meet Renée in person at the Musical Ride’s next stop in Ottawa during the Canadian Sunset Ceremonies, June 23 to 25 or during one of the other stops of this Canada 150 tour.
Constable Renée Everett joined the RCMP in 2009. Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, she has been a member of the Musical Ride since 2016. Gendarme, an 8-year-old gelding, is in his 3rd year with the Musical Ride. He measures 16.3 hands.