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Penticton  

Penticton Mountie announces the first children’s book in a series about the Musical Ride

Mountie writes a kids book

A local Mountie has launched her first children’s book in a series about the Musical Ride; Harry the Musical Ride Horse.

Penticton-born Katherine Hansen joined the RCMP in 1992 and aimed to become a part of the musical ride after seeing it at age six. 

“From that moment on, I had a vision to become a Mountie and ride in the Musical Ride,” Hansen said in a press release. “I had a little red cape and rode my black horse pretending that I was a Mountie.”

In 1996, Hansen got the opportunity to make that childhood dream become a reality and join the Musical Ride.

Today, the RCMP Musical Ride consists of a full troop of 32 riders and their horses. Their performance of intricate figures and drills choreographed to music need the utmost control, timing and coordination. 

The riders act as ambassadors of goodwill who promote the RCMP's image throughout Canada and all over the world, according to the release.

“Children absolutely love the Musical Ride,” Hansen said. “People are so moved by the performance, that they always asked if there was something they could take away as a souvenir.”

The riders used to hand out little cards with a picture of the Horse and Rider, but she thought “it would be wonderful if they could give a book about the Musical Ride to children.”

Hansen retired in 2016 after 25 years on the force and traveling across Canada and Europe performing with the Musical Ride. 

But when Hansen returned as a Reserve Constable in her home town of Penticton and earlier this year she asked to rejoin the Musical Ride as an experienced rider. 

But due to COVID-19, her plans were cancelled, which led her to write the stories.

"I always wanted to write for children because I knew there were other kids like me who dreamed of one day being with the Musical Ride,” Hansen said. “I wanted to write stories about believing in yourself, the power of friendship, and working with a team. Maybe this is the perfect time to write these uplifting stories.”

Harry the Musical Ride Horse is the first of three books Hansen wrote while grounded by COVID-19 in her home and he was the only horse in the Musical Ride who had wavy mane and tail. It is a Canadian breed of horse and the curly mane is a distinction of the breed.

The RCMP Foundation agreed to distribute these stories through the Mountie Shop. The artist who illustrated the book was one of her colleagues who rode with her on the Musical Ride.

For every 100 books that she sells, Hansen will be donating 10 books to local charities, to assist with children and their families. The first 10 books are going to the RCMP Victim Services unit in Penticton.

Hansen wrote two other books, Harry the Musical Ride Horse Goes to Newfoundland, which will be out in October, and Harry the Musical Ride Horse Goes to the Calgary Stampede, which will be available in November. 



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