Since closing its doors a few years ago — Kingston Penitentiary has become a popular tourist destination.
And now, it’s being used again this weekend — but for a much different reason.
The North American Police Equestrian Championship will be taking place behind the old prison walls this weekend.
Newswatch’s Darryn Davis has more….
Mounted police units from across Canada and the United States arrived in Kingston earlier this week to set up and practice for this weekends North American Police Equestrian Championships.
“This is all in conjunction with and part of our 175th celebration of Kingston police.”
And many of the events, while being entertaining, will also give the public a glimpse of the versatility of mounted police units.
Like the obstacles event.
“Walking over things, through things, or under things we’ve got to be able to push these guys past the limit that normal horses wouldn’t want to be pushed.”
The competition also has a practical side. “Mainly teamwork amongst the officers and develop the horses and to come here and learn some new stuff to bring back home with us.”
These police officers are practicing a crowd control demonstration.
Which from the sidelines seems tame enough.
But when you’re standing in with the mock rioters it’s a much different perspective.
Many of the rioters are volunteer students from the St. Lawrence College police foundations program.
“When you’re told you’re supposed to run backwards while they’re galloping towards you it’s a little scary so it’s good that i’ve been practicing my cardio for school.”
“Along with the wide range of skills competitions, people who come out to the weekends event will also have the opportunity to be entertained by the rcmp’s famous musical ride.”
The competitions will also have some high profile judges.
“We’re very proud and honoured to have our olympic, Canadian olympic dressage Gina Smith who’s going to be judging our equitation class.”
Tickets are still available for the championship.
The competition runs both Saturday and and Sunday starting at 9am.
Darryn Davis CKWS Newswatch Kingston.