Lord Strathcona’s Horse rides again

Lord Strathcona’s Musical Ride is coming to Fort Steele for BC Day.

  • Jul. 23, 2015 1:00 p.m.

Lord Strathcona’s Musical Ride is coming to Fort Steele for BC Day.

The Troop is an authorized volunteer display unit reminiscent of Lord Strathcona’s Horse in the 1920s and 1930s, and will be bringing their entertaining mounted demonstration to Fort Steele Heritage Town.

In addition, The Good Ol’ Goats will also be performing, taking time from their western Canadian tour to celebrate BC Day on home turf.

There will also be displays featuring the Sam Steele Scouts, The Back Country Horsemen and The North West Mounted Police. As if that wasn’t enough, the evening will culminate with a fireworks display (if the weather cooperates).

Lord Strathcona’s Horse is made up of 20 horses and 25 members that draw from the regiment’s earliest traditions — performing the Musical Ride and Tent Pegging demonstration.

The Troop has its roots in Cranbrook, and involves two individuals who featured prominently in this area: Donald Smith (First Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal), renowned among other things for driving the Last Spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway at Craigellachie, B.C., near Revelstoke; and Sam Steele, who served as North-West Mounted Police detachment commander at Fort Steele.

When the Boer War began in 1899, Strathcona took it upon himself, with the blessing of the Canadian government, to form and outfit a brand new regiment out of Cranbrook. One of Strathcona’s stipulation was that he have a say in personnel recruitment, and he insisted on Sam Steele being the regiment’s first commanding officer. And so the regiment Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadian) came into being in 1900 (the Royal Canadian was added at the insistence of the Canadian government).

The Strathconas were initially a cavalry regiment, which of course had evolved into an armoured regiment —tanks — by the Second World War (the Strathconas saw a lot of hard fighting in the Italian campaign of WWII, moving to France some time after D-Day).

The event starts at 6 p.m. and tickets for this event are $25 (taxes included) and must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available at The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, Cranbrook Safeway or by calling Fort Steele at 250-417-6000.

Fort Steele itself is a living history museum dedicated to the preservation, education and interpretation of the pioneer mining town during the late 1800s. The Friends of Fort Steele Society is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to continuing conservation initiatives, building community partnerships, developing a sustainable funding model and providing the nearly 80,000 annual visitors with an experience that truly enables them to visualize a day in the life of Fort Steele in its heyday.