Harness racing driver Brandon Campbell, Canada’s representative to the 2017 World Driving Championship, will be presented with a set of his Canadian driving colours at Fraser Downs Racetrack on Friday, April 21.
Dan Gall, President and CEO of Standardbred Canada, along with Carla Robin, Executive Director of Harness Racing BC and Darren MacDonald, Director of Racing for Great Canadian Gaming will make the presentation prior to the first race at approximately 6:45 p.m. in the winner’s circle. Standardbred Canada will have a Good Luck banner available for fans to sign in the Homestretch area.
Campbell, a 33-year-old Calgary resident earned his way into the Worlds, which are hosted in Canada this year, by winning the National Driving Championship in London at The Raceway at the Western Fair District last October.
The road to the Nationals started in May last year when he was invited to represent Fraser Downs in the Western Regional Driving Championship which was hosted at Century Downs in June. He won that event for the second consecutive time, leading to a coveted spot in the 2016 National event. Campbell competed in the 2014 NDC which was hosted in PEI and finished in third behind winner Jody Jamieson and runner-up Marc Campbell.
Campbell, the first Western-based driver to represent Canada in the Worlds, has driven over 1,300 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $8 million during his career which started in 2003.
This is Campbell’s first WDC competition. “Since the first time I competed in the Nationals, I’ve wanted to win so that I could represent Canada,” said Campbell, “this is a dream come true and I can hardly wait to wear the red and white colours. I’m proud to represent my country and I’m looking forward to a very exciting competition!”
The 22-race competition, hosted by Standardbred Canada takes place at five different racetracks in four different provinces. Drivers earn points based on their finishing position and the top point earner at the end of the 22 races will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money.
The first leg kicks off at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino in Balzac, Alberta on Saturday, August 12.
Following the first leg in Alberta, 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 Trois-Rivières, 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, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week.
This event, along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, hosted in Charlottetown, PEI, are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.
Here is the complete list of drivers and the countries that they represent:
- Australia - Shane Graham
- Austria - Gerhard Mayr
- Belgium - Rik Depuydt
- Canada - Brandon Campbell
- Finland - Mika Forss
- Germany - Michael Nimczyk
- New Zealand - Dexter Dunn (defending champion)
- New Zealand - Mark Purdon
- Norway - Eirik Høitomt
- Sweden - Björn Goop
- United States - Marcus Miller
Canadians have won the WDC on four occasions. Hervé Filion won the inaugural edition in 1970, his nephew Sylvain Filion won in 1999 and Jody Jamieson won the 2001 and 2011 editions of the WDC. A Canadian driver has yet to win on home soil.