The Union Européenne du Trot (UET) has advised Standardbred Canada that Germany’s representative to the 2017 World Driving Championship, Michael Nimczyk, is now unable to take part in this year’s event. Unfortunately some of Germany’s major races take place at the same time as the WDC.
Noel Baldacchino from Malta was next in the UET standings and has accepted an invitation from the organizers to compete.
Baldacchino has been driving for over 26 years and has competed in 5,865 races with 925 wins to his credit. He has been Malta’s Champion Driver ten times during his career and has won this title for eight of the past ten years.
Here is a look at the complete field:
- Australia - Shane Graham
- Austria - Gerhard Mayr
- Belgium - Rik Depuydt
- Canada - Brandon Campbell
- Finland - Mika Forss
- Malta – Noel Baldacchino
New Zealand - Dexter Dunn
- New Zealand - Mark Purdon
- Norway - Eirik Høitomt
- Sweden - Björn Goop
- United States - Marcus Miller
The 22-race competition 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.