The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Musical Ride has been on tour performing in communities across Quebec, as well as in Toronto, Ontario since May 13, 2010. While on tour, one of the RCMP horses contracted a low grade case of Streptococcus Equi, an equine bacterial infection that is commonly known as Strangles. Though it is of no risk to humans, Strangles is very contagious to horses and can be carried by humans working with one horse, then contacting another.
The Musical Ride Branch is taking every precaution to protect the Musical Ride horses, as well as other horse populations. Under the advice of the Musical Ride Branch\’s veterinarian advisors, in consultation with the University of Guelph Veterinarian College, the Musical Ride horses are being isolated at the RCMP Rockcliffe Stables and public contact with the horses is restricted.
It is with great regret that previously scheduled performances that were to take place between July 2 and July 20, 2010, have been cancelled to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to other horse populations. It is the hope of the Musical Ride Branch to resume the 2010 Tour in Edmonton, Alberta on July 23, 2010.
The Musical Ride will continue to perform at the 2010 Canadian Sunset Ceremonies, taking place in Ottawa, Ontario between June 23 and 27. As well, the always popular Canada Day performance on Parliament Hill will still take place. The public will however not be able to access the horses directly.
Special performances have been scheduled to occur daily at the Rockcliffe Stables in Ottawa between July 5 through to July 9, and July 12 through to July 15. The free performances will take place at 11:00 a.m. and are open to the public. The Stables will remain closed to the public until further notice.
The Musical Ride Branch has determined they can still perform in Ottawa as they are better able to control the environment where the horses are stabled and perform.