Wider Horizons

Regardless of where in the world they travel as members of the RCMP’s Musical Ride, Matthew and Derek Matthew QuilleyDerek Quilley are Albertans to their core.

Born and raised in Red Deer, the brothers came to Lethbridge College to enrol in the Criminal Justice program. Derek graduated in 2003 and Matthew in 2007; both started working for the RCMP in 2008. Two years later, Derek was the first to take part in the five-week tryout for the Musical Ride. He had a friend who was a member and thought it looked like a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Matthew says he had always dreamed of being a part of the Musical Ride and joined in 2013. “It also helped my decision to apply that Derek was already there and had very good things to say about the posting,” Matthew adds.

Derek was part of the team that travelled to England and performed for the Queen during the Diamond Jubilee celebration in 2012. And last summer, the brothers spent 10 weeks touring Alberta, which meant many family members and friends – including friends from the college – were able to see them perform. “The Musical Ride is very important not only to the RCMP but to Canada as a whole,” says Matthew. “The show is often taken internationally where we are instantly recognized by our red jackets and brown boots.”

There are difficult aspects to the job, of course. The brothers note that horses have a mind of their own and can test them some days. But each says he loves the work he is doing now, even though it has taken them away from their home province. “I do miss Alberta, but I enjoy being able to live all across this great country of ours with the RCMP,” says Derek. “I personally miss Alberta immensely,” adds Matthew. “It is sort of indescribable but I just get a feeling of being where I should be when I am home. But the Musical Ride is amazing and I am in no rush to cut this experience short.”

Wider Horizons
Lisa Kozleski
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