“To Abbotsford We Will Go”
Cpl David Lennon
This year’s trip to Abbotsford started off quietly on the morning of 30 July 2014. The most we had to worry about that morning were the terrible mosquitoes we battled while loading the horses; the tail wraps were certainly well tested. The ride to Abbotsford took the whole day, with a few short stops along the way to allow the horses to feed, get water, and walk out. Even so, our trip must have been much easier than it was in the past, when it would take cavalrymen days riding on horseback or train to cover the same distances.
Abbotsford was generous and accommodating as always by providing great lodging and meals for our visit. The same volunteers from last year were there in force to make sure we were cared for. The head of the volunteers, “Momma,” was overjoyed to see Sergeant Paul “Shine” Kruhlak. It was nice to receive such a warm welcome and to see firsthand how important the Strathcona image can be to the public, even as far away as the lower mainland.
All of our rides during the 2014 Abbotsford Agrifair went well and were well executed. Hundreds of spectators showed up and cheered us on during the daily performances we put on throughout the long weekend. We were even honoured for a few minutes in the rodeo during the main event and had some fun with JJ Harrison the rodeo clown. The highlight for me however was having veterans as VIPs for our last ride. Two Strathcona veterans, Cpl (Ret’d) Eero Muna and Tpr (Ret’d) Jim Hitchings, inspected the ride and it was truly an honour to have them watch us. It was a great way to end the rides we put on for the community of Abbotsford.
Our last night in Abbotsford had no shortage of entertainment with more food, drink, and laughter than we knew what to do with. Mayor Bruce Banman of Abbotsford and the various heads of the Abbotsford Agrifair attended the meal and thanked us all for everything we had done over the past week. Once the guests left for the night, a tradition was upheld for all new riders in the Troop that year; a hands-free ice cream eating challenge with all the toppings you could imagine. Emerging victorious from the mess of ice cream and toppings was, Tpr Liam “I can only do this with Jello” Morouney who took first place. Abbotsford was definitely one of the highlights of the season for SMT. This annual trip is one all members of the Troop truly look forward to each year and we are excited to keep the tradition strong.