Mounties spent a few days last week getting their assessment on horsemanship with help from former livestock investigator Dave Heaslip. Mounties here walk their horses while staying in formation.

Mounties learn the ropes on horsemanship

Former livestock investigator Dave Heaslip hired to help mounties prepare for Canada 150 celebrations.

Alberta’s RCMP have received dozens of requests to take part in parades for Canada’s 150th and to be prepared Mounties are taking part in horsemanship assessment in Ponoka.

The image of a Mountie in red serge on a black horse is synonymous with this country but one can’t just ride a horse without experience. To be prepared for these parades the RCMP have hired Dave Heaslip, former livestock investigator to train Mounties on handling and what to expect.

Last week Mounties could be seen parading through the Town of Ponoka to be assessed on their skills.

It’s a program that started in Ponoka due to Heaslip’s skill with riding, and with support of the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association the program has grown across the province. Heaslip has since retired from investigations and has been hired as a public servant to train Mounties on riding.

“We have a lot of deep roots with the western culture in Alberta and it’s not just the Musical Ride in Ottawa that does this,” said Heaslip. “We have a lot of members who never went on the Musical Ride that are very excellent riders.”

The RCMP looks for Mounties with horseback training who can ride in a parade without getting hurt as well as being able to handle their horse. Riders were given a two-day assessment on their abilities and then provided tips and instruction on how the RCMP gear up a horse.

Using Vic Almond’s arena as the training base, officers got some hands on experience.

“Our program was in its infant stage. It’s now growing up,” said Heaslip. “We’ve got around 30 members.”

He handles the central region of Alberta and takes the calls for parades to ensure the RCMP are represented well. There is also a northern and a southern region for the mounted rider program.

Just Posted

Questionable reffing is becoming the NHL norm

Perhaps mandatory eye tests would help boost officials’ capabilities

Local team wins Halkirk Seniors bonspiel

Yoga classes available in Halkirk area

Parental guide to “Hour Zero” program released

Clearview Public Schools advises parents what to in an emergency

Big Knife 4-H Beef Club conducting their annual bottle drive

4-h kids would appreciate your support for their club

Endiang floor curlers participated in Halkirk Valentine-themed bonspiel Feb. 15

Lots of clever Byemoor people escaping winter to warm destinations

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Opening Ceremonies held for 2018 Provincial Masters Tournament

Eight men’s teams & seven ladies’ teams face off to see who will represent AB at Nationals in Surrey, BC

Online petition started against proposed RV Resort at Buffalo Lake

Petition against the Paradise Shores RV Resort has collected over 800 signatures

Canadian support split on Trans Mountain pipeline debate: Poll

Angus Reid poll surveying Canadians on pipeline stance finds no clear winner

Student protest outside White House a snapshot of American gun debate

Demonstrators take part in a student protest for gun control legislation in front of the White House

Feds can’t do much to fight fake news in Canada

Federal government can’t do much to fight fake news: Canadian Heritage documents

Canada’s Boutin wins silver in women’s 1,000 short track

Women’s 1,000-metre short-track speedskater Kim Boutin wins silver the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Thursday

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Most Read


Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.