An age-old tradition is returning to Cochrane for the first time in five years.
The Cochrane Posse will be hosting the RCMP Musical Ride July 18 at the Ag Society grounds, and is currently on the hunt for community members to help pull off two shows.
“We need sponsors. Our budget for the Musical Ride this year is $55,000, so we need to raise [that] above and beyond our ticket sales,” said Rob Cameron with the Cochrane Posse.
The Posse is fundraising for four local groups – Cochrane and Area Victim Services, the Lindsay Leigh Kimmett Memorial Foundation, Cochrane Search and Rescue, and the Cochrane Roping Club.
“One hundred per cent of the money we make goes to these groups," Cameron said. "The Cochrane Posse doesn’t take one cent.”
While the Posse – a group of award-winning western-clad volunteers – could once be seen re-enacting historical western scenes at Cochrane events such as the Labour Day Parade and the Outhouse Races, either atop horses or toting guns on foot, they no longer perform live. Instead, Cameron said, the group has switched its focus to organizing the Musical Ride.
The event comes to Alberta every four years, he said, and this year's ride will bring 32 Hanoverian horses to perform two shows at 1:30 and 7 p.m. According to Cameron, the equestrian performance – steeped in tradition since 1873 – will exemplify control, timing and precision for audiences through a choreographed sea of uniformed Mounties dressed in red and riding a jet-black steed.
“I think it’s good people see it," he said, adding the "Canadian icon" is an event appropriate for audiences of all ages.
One of the Cochrane Posse founders, Cameron served 25 years in the RCMP and “loved every one” of his 18 transfers throughout his time with the force. After retiring a decade ago due to injury, he now owns and operates a local security company.
Cameron has taken the reins on hosting the event since first bringing it to the town in 2003. This year marks the fourth time the ride has come to Cochrane.
The event does not operate with any grant dollars and is completely reliant on the contributions to volunteers, sponsors and ticket sales, according to Cameron. He added the Posse is also seeking volunteers to assist with social media and ticket sales ahead of the event, as well as volunteers to help out at the Ag Society grounds located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Highways 1A and 22.
Tickets are $25 for reserve seating, $20 for general admission and $15 for youth aged five to 12 or seniors 65 and over. Tickets are available at Pet Life, Tony’s Western Wear and Aaron E. King Goldsmith, or online through Event Brite.