April 13, 2016 — Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce that all host racetracks for the 2017 World Driving Championship have now been confirmed. The event will be hosted at five different racetracks in four different provinces between August 12 and 18, 2017, which will offer the competing drivers the opportunity to see much of the country during this competition.
The 2017 WDC, which will feature a field of ten of the world’s best harness drivers will kick off in the west at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino near Calgary, Alberta, on Saturday, August, 12 for the first leg. The drivers will then head to Ontario for the next two legs. Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville will host the second leg on Monday, August 14, and that will be followed by the third leg at Georgian Downs in Innisfil on August 15.
The action then moves to la belle province of Quebec on Wednesday, August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg of the WDC before the drivers head to Prince Edward Island and Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on Friday, August 18. Delegates attending the World Trotting Conference in Charlottetown will be able to take in all of the action of the final leg which is one of the major highlights of Old Home Week.
This event, which is held in conjunction with the WTC and which are both held every two years, will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.
Dexter Dunn of New Zealand is the defending WDC champion having been victorious in the 2015 event hosted in Australia. "I've never been to Canada so I'm really looking forward to competing in 2017," said Dunn.
Canada’s WDC representative will be the winner of the 2016 National Driving Championship which is scheduled for Friday, October 14 at The Raceway at Western Fair District in London, Ontario.
Canada has previously hosted the World Trotting Conference and World Driving Championship in 1973, 1989 and most recently in 2003 when the WTC was hosted in Toronto and the WDC was hosted in Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Ontario with the final leg at Woodbine Racetrack.
Canadian drivers have won the World Driving Championship on four occasions -- Herve Filion (1970), Sylvain Filion (1999), Jody Jamieson (2001, 2011) -- but a Canadian driver has never won on home soil.
Standardbred Canada will release more information about the 2017 World Trotting Conference and World Driving Championship as it becomes available.
The event, coordinated by Standardbred Canada, is presented by Century Downs with the support and assistance of
Horse Racing Alberta, the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association and Tourism Calgary.