When the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) posted a message on their Facebook page announcing the first-ever “Divestment of Horses” initiative, they had no idea what the level of interest would be. The idea was simple enough: find appropriate forever homes with Canadians who wanted to adopt a retired “RCMP Musical Ride horse that’s been retired from active service due to health conditions or injuries.” The Musical Ride generally has about 140 horses in its program at any given time.

The stunning black horses are Canadian icons that have been gifted to Royalty. Queen Elizabeth II, rode the Saskatchewan-bred Burmese for years, and King Charles III received a horse from the RCMP in April just days before his Coronation. The horses and the Musical Ride are internationally recognized symbols of our country. Who wouldn’t want one of these majestic animals?

What the RCMP didn’t anticipate was the response, which is surprising given the last line of the original post was “go tell your horsey friends.” Well, it looks like the horse community spread the word, because the very next day the RCMP updated their Facebook page with the following message: “The Divestment of Horses Program didn’t expect to receive so much interest. While we appreciate it, we cannot accept any more applications at this time.” The program had received about 1,600 applications in less than 24 hours.

The post then explains that if you did apply, like any job application, only those candidates they deem the right fit will be contacted. While neither Facebook or the official website  mentions how many retired horses there are to rehome, it seems it’s not enough to meet demand. “Due to the very small number of horses that qualify for this Program, there is no guarantee you will be offered a horse.”

Horse-Canada.com will provide further updates as they become available.