The Strathcona Ceremonial Mounted Troop is attached to Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), an armoured regiment based in Edmonton, Alberta. It is the last surviving military mounted troop in the country.
The Lord Strathcona’s Horse was raised and funded in 1900 in Calgary for the South African War. The regiment was put together by Lord Strathcona (Donald Smith) who was a well-known philanthropist; he was the chair of the Hudson Bay Company and was a co-founder of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It was made up of western ranchers and prospectors, and commanded by Sir Sam Steele.
The troop has been participating in the Calgary Stampede since 1974. “The soldiers are ecstatic to be at the Stampede,” said Captain Ali Mansour, an Armoured Officer with Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) and the Ceremonial Mounted Troop Leader. “We are very privileged and fortunate to do six shows here.”
The Strathcona Mounted Troop is composed of 16 horse and riders who perform a musical ride with equestrian troop maneuvers. During the performance, the troop functions as they would be on the battlefield to pay homage to the soldiers who used to be in the unit and to Calgary traditions.