It was announced last week that five Canadian-based reinsmen will be take part in Miami Valley Raceway’s $25,000 North American Drivers Challenge from January 8 to 10. Trot Insider has learned that a sixth Canadian pilot will now make the trek across the border and will look to make his presence felt.
He posted a UDR of over .300 in 2015 and 2016. He won Canada’s National Driving Championship last year. Now Brandon Campbell has been invited to take part in the North American Drivers Challenge.
Although he has been a fixture in the Western Canadian harness racing scene for years now, Campbell, 33, has certainly gotten his name known across the country in recent years. His stable has always been a high percentage operation, as his starters step on the racetrack ready to win, as evidenced by his .299 career UTR from over 2,300 starts. In terms of his work in the race bike, Campbell has been a force for years.
His mounts have found the winner’s circle at a very good clip, and they sure did during the National Driving Championship this past October at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Campbell won the event and will thus represent Canada in the 2017 World Driving Championship, which will be hosted by Standardbred Canada at racetracks across the country this coming August.
Alfie Carroll and Bob McClure, the winningest drivers in Canada in 2016, were invited to Miami Valley’s North American Drivers Challenge, as were fellow Canadian-based drivers Guy Gagnon, Doug McNair and James MacDonald.
Campbell’s owners sure know how adept he is in the sulky, and that is why one of them was surprised when Campbell wasn’t initially invited to take part in the competition.
Michael Byrne has told Trot Insider that he wasn’t going to sit by idly. He decided to make some phone calls.
“Brandon had been left out of the drivers challenge in Dayton, Ohio until I started phoning,” Byrne said.
“I pushed the fact that Brandon won the nationals up here and that should automatically put him in something like this event.”
Although it took some time, Byrne didn’t give up, and now Campbell will be packing his bags to take on some of the continent’s top pilots down in Ohio.
“After numerous phone calls and pleas, they phoned Brandon and invited him.”
Campbell is looking to build on his successful 2016 season in the sulky. He lined up to the starting gate 695 times and won 129 of those races. He notched 98 seconds and 91 thirds. Campbell steered his mounts to over $810,000 in purses and saw his UDR settle at .307.
Reposted from Standaredbred Canada - link