The Western Regional Driving Championships were held on Saturday April 26th at Fraser Downs. The challenge consisted of nine races which included drivers from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Brandon Campbell, Gerry Hudon and Travis Cullen all represented Alberta in the challenge.
Brandon Campbell quickly took the early lead and never looked back while piling up three wins during the Fraser Downs Saturday afternoon meet-closing card. Campbell kicked off his wins with a victory in the fifth race driving Steve O who crossed the line in 1:55 for owner and trainer Marvin Frank. In the eighth race Campbell guided Steal The Diamonds in a convincing win by 12 lengths for trainer Rod Therres and then hit the winners circle once again with back to back wins in the ninth with Slow And Easy for trainer D. McCarthy. This secured the deal with 90 points for Campbell and earned him a spot to compete in the National Driving Championships which take place on August 26th at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park in PEI.
Runner-up BC’s Jim Marino with 63 points will also advance to the 2014 National Driving Championship. Marino had a win in the last leg of the challenge with Pureform Olympia to just edge-out Gerry Hudon by one point who racked up 62 points. Alberta’s third representative Travis Cullen finished 6th in the standings with 51 points.
The winner of the National Driving Championship will represent Canada in the World Driving Championship in Australia in February/March 2015.
The official standings for the Western Regional Driving Championship:
1. Brandon Campbell - Alberta – 90
2. Jim Marino - B.C. – 63
3. Gerry Hudon - Alberta – 62
4. Bill Davis - B.C. – 56
5. Richard Remillard - Saskatchewan – 55
6. Travis Cullen - Alberta – 51
7. John Chappell - B.C. – 46
8. Scott Knight - B.C. – 44
9. Don Howlett - Manitoba - 25
ALBERTA DOWNS KICKS OFF
Alberta Downs is ready for opening weekend and will get underway Saturday May 3rd. The day will have eleven races on the card which will feature the $8400 Open Pace for horses and Geldings. A total of 7 horses will line up behind the gate in the ninth race which includes 2012 Horse of the Year Timberline Court at 9-2 and will have regular pilot Gerry Hudon controlling the lines. Driver/trainer Keith Clark has an entry with American Venture who is currently the morning line favorite at 2-1 and Beren Hanover who is second choice at 3-1. The entry is uncoupled for wagering purposes. Who Doesnt will also line up behind the gate for driver/trainer Travis Cullen.
“Drivers” autograph sessions will take place during the Saturday afternoon race card. On hand for autographs will be the 2013 O’Brien Awards Winners Kelly Hoerdt and Travis Cullen. Also on hand will be Canadian Horse Hall of Famer Keith Clark along with Gerry Hudon, Jamie Gray, Bill Tainsh Jr, Ryan Grundy and Tyler Redwood. In addition there will 5x7 signed pictures of all the above mentioned drivers. The first 20 fans to get a Driver’s autograph will receive an “I Love Canadian Harness Racing” bracelet. There will be a draw for one lucky fan to win an “I Love Canadian Harness Racing” bag filled with tons of prizes. There will be $2.00 betting vouchers along with prize’s and giveaways throughout the day. Post time is 1:15pm.
NAME THAT FOAL CONTEST
WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED MAY 3RD
The “winners” of the “Name That Foal” contest sponsored by ASHA and Meridian Farms will be announced opening day at Alberta Downs on Saturday May 3rd. There are some wonderful entries submitted. There were a total of 7 entries for the 6 & under age category which included entries as young as two years old. The 7 to 12 age group category received 12 submissions and the 13 to 18 received 4 entries. The names that were chosen by the children were obviously thought out and imaginative. And some were just so cute. The drawings by the children were very creative and the artwork artistic. It was obvious the children took a great deal of the time to be resourceful and all did a fantastic job. The contest turned out to be a great success.
ASHA and Meridian Farms would like to thank all the children for their wonderful submissions.