Spruce Meadows and Calgary Stampede Weekend
By: Captain Ahmad Jaradat
Another year where Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) participated in the Calgary Stampede and Spruce Meadows activities was marked 3 – 6 July 2014. The Regiment was represented by a 100-soldier Guard of Honour composed of primarily of B Squadron personnel and contingents from the remainder of the Regiment. These soldiers were amazed by the reception the Regiment received by the City of Calgary during the opening weekend of the Calgary Stampede and at Spruce Meadows.
Soon after our arrival, the entire 100-soldier Guard of Honour was given the afternoon to further their knowledge of Regimental history at The Military Museums. Warrant Officer Ted Macleod opened the door to the Regimental Museum. As many of the new Strathcona soldiers had not been to the Regimental Museum, it was a great opportunity to teach them about the rich military history of our Regiment. The following morning, as the guard marched in the parade to mark the opening of the Stampede, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that this was not going to be a parade to be forgotten. Thousands of Canadians, from Calgary and elsewhere across the country, stood as we passed and clapped their hands, shouted accolades and cheered us on like nothing the soldiers have ever heard before. Major Sandy “My Troops are single” Cooper, made it quite clear during his live interview with Breakfast Television, that all the guys were ready to “have fun” that night and the nights to follow.
Once the 100-soldier Guard of Honour reached Spruce Meadows and began its first day parades, it was clear in the minds of all the soldiers there that this was going to be a great time and a lasting memory. The guard demonstrated military precision with its Feu de Joie after much practice. Overall, it was a fantastic weekend with all the men and women proudly representing the Regiment.