Cst. Melanie Zonderland and her horse Sherif during the RCMP Musical Ride’s stop in Hope. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

PHOTOS: Musical Ride delights in Hope

1,500 spectators at first stop of the RCMP Musical Ride in the Fraser Valley

Hope was the first community in the Fraser Valley to host a show which doesn’t come around very often.

The RCMP Musical Ride made its stop in the community July 19 to an audience of close to 1,500 at the Hope sports bowl.

The 32 specially trained RCMP members and their jet black Hanoverian geldings showed off their skills to music from across the nation, including The Jerry Cans, Shania Twain and Great Big Sea.

Riders from many different provinces were represented, including one RCMP constable who started her 12-year career with the RCMP in Hope 2006. Const. Melanie Zonderland, with her 19-year-old horse Sherif, was given a warm welcome by the crowd.

While 90 per cent of RCMP officers who enter the Musical Ride program have no experience on horseback, Zonderland had a different experience.

“Before I even got into the RCMP, I always loved horses. I worked on a dairy farm for eight years before policing. And before I was even a member, I remember my interview to get hired, that I wanted to go into the musical ride,” she said.

Policing the way the RCMP used to, in Red Serge on horseback, is an amazing feeling for Zonderland. Equally moving for her is the welcome she gets from small towns she tours, like the town of Wabush in Labrador with a population of just under 2,000.

“I can’t talk about it too much because in Wabush, last year, I think I was crying. Every person I talked to, I was just in tears because everyone’s so happy to see you. They love the horses and a town that’s small like that, they don’t get anything,” she said.

“The work that the communities put in to host us, to have us here. I mean we’re only here a couple of nights and just the amount of hours and volunteer time and effort and money that goes into something like this, it’s incredible. And then when we’re out there in the show on the horses, it’s never a bad day at work.”


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Lou Juniper Badd, who has her first birthday next week, and dad Brian Badd meet Sherif during a stop of the RCMP Musical Ride tour in Hope July 19. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

Four members of the RCMP Musical Ride perform in front of a crowd of about 2,000 at the Hope Sports Bowl July 19. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

Four members of the RCMP Musical Ride perform in front of a crowd of about 2,000 at the Hope Sports Bowl July 19. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

Cst. Melanie Zonderland, who began her policing career at the Hope RCMP, performs in the RCMP Musical Ride July 19. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

Thirty two horses and riders perform the dome formation made famous by its appearance on the Canadian $50 banknote first issued in 1975. The Musical Ride toured B.C., stopping in Hope July 19. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

At the end of the show, riders were introduced to the audience by the province they are from. Former Cpl. with the Hope RCMP was given a special mention. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

Four members of the RCMP Musical Ride perform in front of a crowd of about 2,000 at the Hope Sports Bowl July 19. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

Four members of the RCMP Musical Ride perform in front of a crowd of about 2,000 at the Hope Sports Bowl July 19. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

ABOVE: Lexi Roberts, left, and Aleena Whittaker meet BB at the popular “pet a pony” moment before the Musical Ride. RIGHT: Const. Melanie Zonderland and her horse Sherif. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

Nearly a full-house at the Thursday, July 19 visit of the RCMP Musical Ride to Hope. Before final numbers were tallied, organizer Scott Medlock estimated around 2,000 people came to the ride, at least 600 under the age of 6. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

The grill guys were out doing their best to keep guests at the RCMP Musical Ride fed and happy. They are, from left, Rick Jordan wearing a shirt that reads ‘we know how to turn the grills on’, John Smith and Ken Kos from Hope Lions Club. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

When a chance to pet the horses who performed during the RCMP Musical Ride pre-show was announced, crowds of young people lined up. Cousins Brianne, in grey, and Cheyanne Richardson (in orange) met Magoo and his rider Jim Greendyk. Magoo’s owner Cortney Vandepol is not pictured. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

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