RCMP opening up adoption for Musical Ride horses

Alaska is a 20-year-old horse, who was born and bred at the RCMP breeding farm. Throughout the years, Alaska worked with the RCMP’s Musical Ride program and in the last few years has been a schooling horse, helping to train new riders. Now, the time has come for Alaska to be put up for adoption and find a new, loving home.

Alaska’s adoption has been made possible because, for the first time ever, the RCMP’s retired Musical Ride horses are up for adoption.

This change came about last year after the treasury board updated the eligibility for divested horses to include the general public. In the past, the Musical Ride program was only allowed to transfer its surplus horses to charities, non-profits, or other levels of government.

“This allowed us now to look at Canadians across Canada that can provide the horses with good homes and meet the high expectations that they can potentially receive one of our horses,” said Sgt.-Maj. Scott Williamson, the RCMP riding master in an interview on Tuesday.

Last week, the RCMP put out a call for applications for anyone interested in owning a retired Musical Ride horse and received such a high level of interest that they have since closed applications.

Williamson noted that they received more than 1,600 applications in less than 24 hours.

As of now, Alaska is the only horse that’s looking for a new home, but this could change in the future as more horses qualify for the program.

“Great news on our end, because out of those 1,600, we are very likely to find some top-quality homes for our horses,” Williamson said.

“But we had to put a temporary pause on it because we weren’t quite prepared for that many applications.”

In terms of the matching process, Williamson said a committee is looking through the applications to find people who are looking for a companion horse, and who have large properties and experience with horses. Those who are looking for horses for breeding or riding regularly will not be considered.

Once the top candidates have been determined, they are going to figure out what course of action is best suited to the horse and select the top candidate.

It’s expected the top applicants for Alaska will be determined early in the new year.

“We want this to be a living document so that in the moment, we can find an owner for one of our horses,” Williamson said.

“That is what this is completely built around, what is best for the horse.”

Williamson said people should check the RCMP website and social media channels to check to see if the application process reopens. 

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