RCMP Musical Ride coming to Leamington



By Pat Bailey

A fair that is older than Canada itself will mark its 170th birthday with a special taste of Canadiana.

This year’s fair promises to take fairgoers on a wild ride–a special ‘musical ride’.

For Leamington District Agricultural Society President Tammy Wiper it’s 10 years in the works but worth every bit of time and energy she has put in.

She grins from ear-to-ear, so excited, honored and proud to boast about this year’s special guests at the fair in June–the RCMP Musical Ride.

The agricultural society will play host to 32 horses, their riders, tack people, groomsmen and the rest of the entourage June 14-17.

The RCMP Musical Ride is a team of RCMP officers dressed in their signature uniforms (including scarlet tunics), the broad Stetson hat, atop their black horses– performing intricate figures and drills, choreographed to music.

It is a spectacle to behold.

And Wiper can’t wait.

She thinks it’s the perfect way to mark one of Ontario’s longest running fairs—with a group symbolic of Canada, dating back to 1874.

Leamington District Agricultural Society President Tammy Wiper shows of a piece of memorabilia from the RCMP Musical Ride’s last performance in Leamington in 2000. (Photo by Pat Bailey/Southpoint Sun)

She also believes it’s a great inexpensive way for local residents to see the RCMP riders in action.

Wiper said for the mere cost of admission to the fair ($7 for adults, kids 12 and under free), fairgoers will be able to witness this beautifully choreographed performance. She said there will be two performances – one on June 16 and one on June 17.

The groundwork, preparation and welcoming of these ambassadors of goodwill might be overwhelming for some, but Wiper welcomes the challenge.

She may not have a large team, but her core group of 22 board members, are up to the task she said. Wiper said she’s got a hardworking group—willing to help out in any way they can.

She said, in her case, the tenth time was definitely the charm.

Wiper said since becoming president 10 years ago she has tried every year to lure the group to Leamington. Each year she received a similarly disappointing email– that Leamington just didn’t fit into their tour plans.

In fact, it’s been 17 years since the RCMP Musical Ride performed in Leamington. The team graced the fairgrounds in 2000, co-hosted by the agricultural society and Leamington Kinsmen.

This year’s affirmative email elicited a rather childlike response from Wiper and her helper Jen Robinson.

“We were jumping for joy,” she laughed, “like two little kids.”

Since her initial reaction, Wiper has been busy hosting Marc Dureau, tour organizer, to make sure the group is prepared to host such a major event.

Wiper said officials were impressed with the Leamington facility and the group’s presentation.

Fortunately, as hosts of Standardbred racing, Wiper said many of the requirements are already in place but admits she will be looking for volunteers come spring.

“There’s a lot of work involved,” she admitted, “but it’s so worth it.”

“We are just thrilled,” she added, “to be able to present something so historical and so Canadian.”

Plans are still in the works, but Wiper said there is definitely one group she wants to invite as her VIPs—local veterans.

“This is something they would like to see,” said Wiper, “and it’s the least we can do to honour those who have sacrificed so much for us.”

She’s also sending out an open invitation to residents from throughout Essex County to make the trip to Leamington to witness this spectacular equestrian display.

This year’s fair will take place June 15, 16 and 17 and promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Wiper said the barns will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., those same days, for fairgoers to tour.

Two arrested after Saturday morning crash

The Amherstburg Police Service responded to a single vehicle collision on Essex County Road 20, east of Essex County Road 9, Saturday around 8 a.m. that involved a silver Chrysler Aspen.

The vehicle was located by a passing motorist and there were no individuals with the vehicle.

Police began checking the surrounding area for anyone who may have been involved in the collision. Police say they subsequently located two individuals walking in the 9600 block of Concession 9 Road South and it was determined that the two individuals were involved with the collision.

Amherstburg police add that while speaking with the individuals, police received information that the vehicle had recently been reported stolen from Leamington. The two individuals were arrested and transported to the Ontario Provincial Police in Leamington.

As the theft occurred in their jurisdiction, the Ontario Provincial Police Leamington detachment is handling the investigation.

If anyone may have information relevant to the investigation, you are encouraged to contact Leamington OPP, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 519-258-8477 (TIPS) or online at www.catchcrooks.com.

(NOTE: This is an updated version to what was published in the Sept. 20 print issue.)

Sr. Cards lose one, win one over the past week



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team lost a game and won a game over the past week.

The Cardinals first game of the week was an error-filled game against the Tecumseh Sr. team last Wednesday night at the Libro Centre.

Zack O’Donnell had a solid effort on the mound but mistakes in the field kept innings alive and it came back to bite Amherstburg and contributed to their 8-5 loss. The Thunder scored in every inning but the second, fifth and seventh, as they put up two runs in the first, two in the third, one in the fourth and three in the sixth inning.

Sr. Cardinals third baseman Brady Levack (12) tries to tag a Tecumseh base runner during July 5 action at the Libro Centre.

Sr. Cardinals third baseman Brady Levack (12) tries to tag a Tecumseh base runner during July 5 action at the Libro Centre.

The three in the sixth proved to be the difference as Amherstburg had crawled back in the fifth inning, tying the game at five. Errors proved costly for Tecumseh as well in the bottom of the fifth. A pair of bases loaded errors resulted in four runs scoring – two off of each error – with Brendon Seguin driving in the fifth run with a single.

Brady Levack went two-for-three in the game for the Sr. Cardinals.

“We made too many errors,” said coach Cliff Bechard. “That cost us the game.”

Bechard praised O’Donnell and said he pitched well.

“He just didn’t have the support behind him,” he said.

The inability to score in any inning but the fifth was the result of not getting the key hit when they needed it, Bechard added. The Cardinals were able to put runners in scoring position, but couldn’t drive them home in most of the innings.

“We just couldn’t get that key hit. That was costly for us.”

Amherstburg centrefielder Cody Brown reaches up to make a catch.

Amherstburg centrefielder Cody Brown reaches up to make a catch.

The Cardinals were on the road Sunday and won a high-scoring affair in Leamington. Amherstburg won an 11-10 decision.

Amherstburg now has seven wins and five losses on the 2017 season.

The Cardinals have only one more regular season home game left, and that is not until July 26 when they host Walker Homesites. In the meantime, they have three straight games in Woodslee including a Friday night game against the Woodslee 35+ team. They are back in Woodslee Sunday for a game against the Woodslee Sr. team and play the Woodslee Jr. team next Tuesday night.

Lady Gens start WECSSAA finals with a loss



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens didn’t start the WECSSAA AA girls hockey final the way they wanted but will look to regroup this week.

The Lady Gens hosted L’Essor Monday afternoon at the Libro Centre in Game 1 of the finals but lost 3-1. Cate Hubbell’s goal with just 33.2 seconds left in the third period was the lone goal for Amherst.

“They seemed to be fighting the puck today,” said assistant coach Dan Pettypiece. “We didn’t get any flow going.”

The players have to understand they will no longer have the time and space they had earlier in the season against weaker teams and have to bear down and make good plays with the puck. They can’t get down on themselves and have to take the extra half-second to make the play instead of rushing with the puck.

The Lady Gens hadn’t allowed a goal in the playoffs until Monday and Pettypiece said they can’t just expect goalie Megan Wismer to carry them every night. Other players have to step up as well.

General Amherst's Katie Stevenson (15, yellow jersey) pulls away from Leamington defenders during semi-final action last Wednesday afternoon at the Libro Centre.

General Amherst’s Katie Stevenson (15, yellow jersey) pulls away from Leamington defenders during semi-final action last Wednesday afternoon at the Libro Centre.

General Amherst made it to the finals thanks to a two-game sweep in the WECSSAA semi-finals. The Lady Gens polished off the Leamington Lions in the semi-finals last Wednesday at the Libro Centre after winning Game 1 in Leamington a week earlier.

Much like they did the previous week in Leamington, the Lady Gens got a goal from Savannah Bouzide and a shutout from goalie Megan Wismer and won a 1-0 decision. Bouzide’s goal in the second game of the best-of-three series came late in the second period.

“It feels awesome,” said captain Emily Hamelin after beating Leamington. “They were really close games.”

Emily said they went the extra mile and drove to the net but said they need to get more shots and work harder at getting the puck out of their own end in an effort to generate more offense.

The Lady Gens were thrilled about getting back to the WECSSAA final for the fourth straight year.

“No one really thought we could get here,” said Emily.

Amherst head coach Scott Hamelin said the girls earned the trip to the finals. He said they played their best hockey of the second game against the Lions in the third period.

The entire team, from the Grade 9 players to the Grade 12 players, all pulled together, Scott added.

“They all did their part and they all competed well,” he said.

Wismer played well and that helped them overcome a very good Leamington team, Scott stated. He said the team showed a lot of character and it paid off.

They need to stop panicking with the puck and be less nervous with it, he added, and that will help them get the puck out of their zone and create offense. Simplifying and taking care of their own end will translate into good things, he said.

Winning games like the two against Leamington will help in the long run, Scott said after last Wednesday’s game, as it gives the players more experience on what to do in pressure situations.

“This team always finds a way to win,” he said after the Leamington series.

Game 2 against L’Essor will be in Tecumseh today and Game 3, if necessary, will be at the Libro Centre Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

Bulldogs improve to 3-2 with win over Leamington



By RTT Staff


The General Amherst Bulldogs senior boys basketball team picked up a convincing win last Thursday on their home court.

The Bulldogs played host to the Leamington Lions and came away with a 59-20 victory. The win moves General Amherst to three wins and two losses on the WECSSAA Tier 2 regular season.

General Amherst’s Shane Sinasac (52) dribbles past Leamington’s Anthony Fehr (left) during  WECSSAA Tier 2 senior boys basketball last Thursday evening.

General Amherst’s Shane Sinasac (52) dribbles past Leamington’s Anthony Fehr (left) during WECSSAA Tier 2 senior boys basketball last Thursday evening.

“I thought we did very well. It was probably our most effective game offensively and our most active game defensively. We loved the effort and activity on our side of the court,” said Cameron Scott, who coaches the team with Zac Tytgat.

Scott added that it was also nice to get every player into game and gain some valuable experience.

“I think we need to get better as a team rebounding the ball instead of relying on individual players to carry the load on the boards,” said Scott.

Darius Wilson puts up a shot during the third quarter of General Amherst's 59-20 victory over Leamington Jan. 12.

Darius Wilson puts up a shot during the third quarter of General Amherst’s 59-20 victory over Leamington Jan. 12.

Outstanding offensive performances go to Darius Wilson, Jeremy Cota and Nate Lovell. Scott added that outstanding defensive performances go to Shayne Sinasac, Eli Porter and Sebastian Hebert.

The Bulldogs have one game this week and that is on the road Thursday evening at Walkerville. They break for exams after that with the next home game not being until Feb. 7 when the Bulldogs host the Belle River Nobles at 5:45 p.m.