Horses, riders to perform on Aug. 14 at Skagway School

PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE

By DAN FOX
EDITOR

For the first time in over 20 years, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will perform its famous equestrian Musical Ride in Skagway on Aug. 14.

The show will feature the RCMP’s world-renowned troop of 32 horses and riders marching and prancing in formation at the Skagway School ball field.

“We’re just really excited to be doing this,” Convention and Visitors Bureau Tourism Director Cody Jennings said. “Not very many people actually remember having it here, so we’re excited – I remember seeing it, though.”

The RCMP last performed a Musical Ride in Skagway in 1995.

The municipality is blocking out a period from 4-6 p.m. on Aug. 14, a time slot that will include pre-show entertainment and the event itself.

The upcoming show in Skagway is a part of a year of Musical Ride performances celebrating Canada’s sesquicentennial; Skagway is hosting the only performance to be held in the United States during the 2017 tour.

Local resident Katie Kollasch will sing both “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Oh, Canada” prior to the RCMP’s exhibition.

Jennings said that Linda Bigham, Skagway’s oldest resident, will be the event’s guest of honor.

The event is free and open to the public. For more details and shuttle information, visit skagway.com/rcmp-musical-ride. The horses and riders are staging at the Skagway Recreation Center. The riders will walk their mounts to the school field from there.

As a result, Main Street will be closed from the Recreation Center to 18th for the duration of the event.
In the discussion leading up to the event, several different performance sites were suggested. The Seven Pastures Ball Fields were suggested as a potential location, but Public Works had reportedly pushed back a bit on that – the fear being that 32 1,150-1,400-pound horses might damage the grass, an expensive thing to repair.

As the topic was bandied about, the school made the suggestion to hold it at its own ball field, the idea being to use the equine-instigated damage as a starting point to renovate the area for expanded use.

School Superintendent Dr. Josh Coughran said the school first needs to “clearly define” what it wants with that space, and suggested holding a work session in late September to come up with preliminary ideas and plans of how to properly renovate the fields.

As an example, Coughran suggested some kind of track for residents and students to use.

“We’re in the beginning stages, we’re kind of waiting for the dust to settle after the horses get out there,” Coughran said.