Marching into Autumn
Our hot summer days continue and there's not much autumnal about the weather. We could do with some rain. Meanwhile, as the sun shines, we make the most of it.
Last Sunday we went to the grounds of Royal Roads University, formerly known as Hatley Castle. I showed you the gardens, but the real reason for the visit was to see the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Musical Ride.
Marching bands and seated bands entertained the large crowd until it was time for the stars of the show, the horses and their riders.
Our Lieutenant Governor General opened the event. Her arrival to the stands was preceded by the single piper seen above. Bagpipes sound so wonderful in the open air, less so in buildings, I find.
The Massed Pipes and Drums featured members from three groups, each in their distinct uniforms. I enjoy drums very much and these musicians did a superb job, marching about the field on a very hot day.
Tim pointed out the daggers tucked into the stockings of the one regiment. I did a little research and the dagger is called a sgian-dubh and is a traditional part of Highland dress. Wilfred Owen, the first World War poet, referred to "daggers in plaid socks" in his poem "Disabled."
We sat next to the bandstand and I snapped this photo of the crowd as a reflection in the horn.
Then came 32 horses and their riders dressed in red serge. How hot they must have been. The Musical Ride is a tradition in the Mounted Police, stemming from trying to relieve the monotony of drills in the 1870s. The riders did tricks and competed amongst each other, and their first performance was in 1876.
Intricate turns, drills, and figures, set to music, show off the riding skills of the police officers and showcase the beautiful horses. The horses seemed to dance through many of the movements, light and graceful.
One popular move is the charge, seen above, where the officers point their lances forward and urge the horses to gallop.
The Musical Ride serves as an ambassador of goodwill these days, rather than as a police unit. They travel all over the world performing and representing Canada. This year, as its our 150th anniversary, the RCMP Musical Ride completed a cross-country tour.
Our seats were at ground level, quite close to the front and with the dust, we looked at each other at the end of the show and saw faces covered in dust!
Have you ever seen the RCMP Musical Ride?
Linking to Mosaic Monday, back after an August break. Hosted by Maggie of Normandy Life.