RCMP Musical Ride dazzles for the Queen's birthday
Jackie Dunham, Special to CTV News
Published Monday, May 16, 2016 8:59AM EDT
Trotting along to the music of famed vocalist Andrea Bocelli, the horses and riders of the RCMP Musical Ride put on quite the show for Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday evening. They were part of an honour guard on hand to greet her majesty as she arrived for her 90th birthday celebrations on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The officer in charge of the performance, Superintendent Leslie Cook, said the riders left the crowd speechless.
“I can honestly say it brought me to tears. I couldn’t be prouder of them,” she told Canada AM this morning.
The famed RCMP Musical Ride participated in a gala which included over 900 horses and 1,500 performers. The event was intended to pay tribute to the Queen’s lifelong love of horses.
One of the weekend’s most memorable moments for Cook was the unexpected opportunity to mingle with the Queen before the show. Cook said a vehicle pulled up in front of their group and a casually-dressed woman got out. It wasn’t until they caught a glimpse of her signature scarf that they realized it was the Queen herself.
“She’s just so genuine and warm,” Cook said. “She walked around and talked to some of the members of the Musical Ride and thanked them for being here.”
Cook said another highlight for the participants was a tea hosted by the Queen to welcome everyone to Windsor Castle.
In preparation for the special event, the performers began training a month earlier than normal and put in a lot extra hours to ensure the show went off without a hitch.
“The Ride just did a phenomenal job. They looked beautiful. They made us all very, very proud,” Cook said.