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RCMP eye Hay River for Musical Ride

The RCMP is interested in bringing its marquee equestrian spectacle, the Musical Ride, to Hay River.

The show consists of a troop of 32 riders and their steeds performing a set of formations and drills to music.

RCMP officers march in last week's Canada Day Parade. The mounted police want to bring the Musical Ride to Hay River next summer. Sidney Cohen/NNSL photo

The exhibition of mounted police heritage and tradition travels to dozens of communities each spring and summer, raising funds for local non-profit organizations.

Organizers want to bring the show to Hay River between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 of 2019.

The RCMP is "extremely interested" in Hay River as a venue, said Peter Magill, the town's tourism and economic development co-ordinator.

Of course, before the troop can come, the RCMP needs the green light from the town.

A list of criteria must be met in order to host a Musical Ride, Sgt. Brandon Humbke told town council on June 26.

"The biggest things are a showgrounds… and then a place to stable the horses," said Humbke.

The stable must be enclosed and have access to water and power. A hockey arena is not out of the question.

"It is a bit of a cost in order to have them in town," said Humbke.

"But I know for myself, I've seen the ride probably 25 times now and it's pretty spectacular to see."

Humbke said the riders are "fantastic ambassadors" of the RCMP and that they travel all over the world.

"I think it's a great idea for our town," Mayor Brad Mapes said after Humbke's presentation.

A number of the councillors agreed.

"It's very exciting," said Magill, adding the occasion could draw people from as far away as southern Alberta to Hay River.

"You don't see a musical ride that often, especially in the Northwest Territories."

The next step would be for the town to give its approval and for a community group, such as a Lions or Elks Clubs, to agree to help with logistics.

The RCMP is looking for a response as soon as possible, said Humbke, and they will not confirm a stop in Hay River until a community group has come on board.

Next summer would not be the first time the Musical Ride has stopped in Hay River.

The cavalcade of mounted police last performed in town in the early 2000s.