The RCMP Musical Ride held its first ‘Regimental Dining In’ night at the Ottawa Army Officers’ Mess on May 19, 2017. Over the years, The Ride has held and hosted many formal regimental dinners that were restricted to members and staff of The Ride itself. But this dinner welcomed and embraced family members and friends to share in the traditions and ceremonial trappings of the Corps. It was heartening to see the Mess filled to capacity with the young men and women of this year’s Ride and there guests for the evening. They do us proud.
The dinner provided a fitting venue for the inaugural presentation of the ‘Steele Spurs Award’. Invoking the storied past of Sir Samuel Benfield Steele , the award was presented to the member of The Ride who best exemplified the character and traits of Steele in ‘going extra mile’ as a young leader, as determined by the Equitation Staff.
In close collaboration with The Ride, the Ottawa Division of the RCMP Veterans’ Association provided a set of long shank nickel steel spurs to celebrate the occasion. The long shank spurs harken back to an earlier era and are coveted by those who value tradition – an obvious connection between those serving and those (long since) retired. This year’s proud recipient of the ‘Steele Spurs Award’ is Cst. Chris Kehoe.
It is the expressed intent of both The Ride and The Vets that this new tradition will continue. And that successive recipients of the Steele Spurs Award will take possession of their long shank spurs from one of those who came before them.
The Award recalls the memory of Sir Samuel Benfield Steele, one of our country’s great historical figures who served the Force and Canada with distinction, and was renowned for his remarkable resilience and forbearance in the pursuit of duty.