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Kneedeep N Custard went last-to-first in the hotly-contested last Open event of the Fraser Downs spring harness racing meet on Apr. 17, coming within two fifths of a track record.   Kelly Hoerdt pulled the five-year-old back to the trailing spot in the five-horse field early as odds-on favourite Tiempo Hanover (Brandon Campbell) took the lead. Armycaptin Hanover (Scott Knight) pressured the leader through a :27 opening split from the first-over spot and remained parked through the half in a blazing :54.   Tiempo Hanover continued to lead, and Armycaptain Hanover maintained the first-up bid to three-quarters in 1:21.2 as Kneedeep N Custard wound up from the backfield. He made up ground quickly and went three-wide around Armycaptin Hanover as they turned for home. Kneedeep N Custard then outsprinted the tired leaders to win going away by a length and a quarter in a lifetime-best 1:50.4.   Tiempo Hanover and Armycaptin Hanover held on for second and third, respectively. The winner paid $10.30.   KNEEDEEP N CUSTARD REPLAY     Kneedeep N Custard, a Custard The Dragon gelding, improved his record to 22-for-39 and surpassed a quarter million dollars in earnings with the win. Hoerdt trains and co-owns with Blair Corbeil of Beaumont and Fred Gilbert of Brandon. The horse's previous mark was 1:51.2 in his Western Canada Pacing Derby Final victory in 2019. This mile was two tenths off the track record for aged pacing geldings.   The battle for the drivers' title for the meet between Hoerdt and Campbell ended in stalemate, as both drivers landed on 32 wins. The former clutched the draw with a win in the ninth with Overactive (1:55.4) from post seven. Scott Knight won the battle for third with two wins on the night to bring his total to nine.   Fraser Downs' next scheduled dates are in September. The track ended its spring season early due to Covid-19.   "We have no choice - we've literally run out of money to operate at the track," said Nigel Holmes, the executive director of Harness Racing BC (HRBC) in a press release. "It means our regular spring racing meet will end early, and prospects are not good for our regular fall meet, unless we are able to negotiate some form of short term COVID financial support from the BC government."   Holmes also said that HRBC is committed to finding a way to survive the year. HRBC announced on Mar. 31 that the government of British Columbia was unable to offer funds to keep racing going. The status of Fraser's fall meet is currently uncertain.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Chase The Ace took the Filly and Mares Open Pace at the Fraser Downs harness racing circuit for the second straight week with a three-wide swoop.   Brandon Campbell tucked the mare into the four-hole early and followed through the quarter in :28.4 and half in :56.3. Campbell pulled the horse out behind cover, which immediately stalled, and then went three-wide as the field approached three-quarters in 1:24.   Chase The Ace then vanquished pocket-sitter Cusdmagicdragon (Kelly Hoerdt) and Rocket Mystery (Rod Therres) in the lane to win by a length and three quarters in 1:52.3.   CHASE THE ACE REPLAY     Chase The Ace, sent off at 3/5, shattered her lifetime best by two and four-fifths seconds with the win. The daughter of Armbro Baylor also increased her tally to 15 wins from 45 starts and improved her bankroll to more than $80,000. Campbell also trains for Jodi Loftus of Calgary.   Campbell won five of the evening's 12 dashes, surpassing Hoerdt in the drivers' standings with just one card to go in the meet. Hoerdt won three. Campbell now has 30 wins to Hoerdt's 29. Scott Knight and Rod Therres are tied for third with seven victories apiece.   Fraser Downs will return with 10 races on Apr. 16 for its final program until September. The action will kick off at 8 p.m. PDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Chase The Ace captured the Handicap Open Pace for harness racing fillies and mares at a muddy Fraser Downs on Apr. 7, 2021 while making her 2021 debut.   Driver Brandon Campbell tucked her into third through a first quarter in :29.3. They remained inside as consistent open contender Cusdmagicdragon (Kelly Hoerdt) carved out fractions of :58.3 and 1:27.1 on the front end.   Campbell triggered Chase The Ace's move coming around the final turn, and the pair easily stepped around the top two. She won by four and a half lengths in 1:55.4 going away. Rockin Mystery (Rod Therres) reached up for second over Cusdmagicdragon, who finished third.   CHASE THE ACE REPLAY     Chase The Ace has now won 14 of her 44 lifetime tries and earned more than $75,000. Campbell also trains the five-year-old Armbro Baylor mare for Jodi Loftus of Calgary. The horse went eight-for-23 last season and made just shy of $50,000.   Hoerdt and Campbell renewed their battle for the top of the drivers' standings, winning five and three races, respectively. Hoerdt holds a three-win advantage over Campbell after the Apr. 7 program. Scott Knight won two to improve his tally to six on the evening and jump Therres for third place.   Hoerdt also trained five winners and leads Jim Marino in the trainers' table by 11.   Fraser Downs will be back on Friday, Apr. 9 with 10 races starting at 8 p.m. PDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Dontpokethedragon remained undefeated in 2021 as he won the harness racing Open Handicap Pace at Fraser Downs with a late rail dive on Friday, Apr. 2.   Driver Brandon Campbell urged him fastest off the gate, reaching the top briefly before Kneedeep N Custard (Kelly Hoerdt) drove on to assume command. Kneedeep N Custard led through fractions of :27.2, :57, and 1:26.3.   Armycaptin Hanover (Scott Knight) lurked first-over turning for home and Dontpokethedragon remained in the pocket. Kneedeep N Custard fought on, but Dontpokethedragon unfurled his wings with a 1/16th to go and slid up the passing lane to win by half a length in 1:55.2.   Armycaptin Hanover just got up for second over Kneedeep N Custard, who finished third. The winner was a mild upset, paying $15.30.   DONTPOKETHEDRAGON REPLAY     Dontpokethedragon is a four-year-old Custard The Dragon gelding. He has won eight of his 30 lifetime tries and brought in just less than $100,000. Jim Marino trains and co-owns with Paul Sanders of Surrey and J J J Stables of Prince George.   Both Campbell and Hoerdt, the top two reinsmen at Fraser Downs, steered four winners on the evening. Hoerdt narrowly tops the drivers' standings with 18 wins over Campbell, who has 17. Rod Therres is a distant third with five winners so far this season.   Also on the card, the three-year-old Shadow Play gelding, Helter Skelter ($2.60), broke his maiden in the fifth race pace. He crushed a nine-horse maiden field in wire-to-wire fashion on his 14th start for owner/trainer/breeder Randy Rutledge of Aldergrove. Campbell drove that one to victory in 1:58.4.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Paperback Thriller confidently brushed to the front and capture the Handicap Open Pace for harness racing fillies and mares at Fraser Downs on Wednesday, Mar. 31.   Brandon Campbell dropped Paperback Thriller into the two-hole through the opening quarter in :29.3 before sweeping to the front by three-eighths. They continued to lead unopposed in middle splits of :58.2 and 1:26.4.   Paperback thriller was solid and finished the job, withstanding a charge from the heavily favoured Cusdmagicdragon (Kelly Hoerdt) and cruising to a three-quarter-length victory in 1:54.4. Cusdmagicdragon got up for place, and Rockin Mystery (Rod Therres) was third. The winner paid $11.50.   PAPERBACK THRILLER REPLAY     That was Paperback Thriller's first win of the season. The six-year-old Mystery Chase mare has won 20 of her 94 lifetime starts and earned just shy of $150,000. Jim Marino trains for Raymond Henry of Calgary.   Also on the card, Hoerdt had a natural hat trick with wins aboard Night Stick (1:54.2) in the fourth, Chase Me Forever (1:54.4) in the fifth, and Im Too Sexy (1:56.4) in the sixth.   Fraser Downs' next card will consist of nine dashes and is scheduled for Friday, Apr. 2.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barndsale, for Harnesslink

You Name It needed every meter of racetrack minus one to get to the lead in the Fraser Downs claiming feature on Friday, Mar. 26, but she got there, winning the race by a nose and achieving her first harness racing win in 38 starts.   Brandon Campbell drifted the horse to the inside as the car pulled away and placed her in third before the quarter in 28.2. The field continued in single-file formation past the half in 58.1 until You Name It got rolling first-over going to five-eighths.   The mare made minimal headway initially, gaining only a length by three-quarters in 1:26.2 as leader Glimpseofthegoddess (Dave Hudon) continued to pace strongly. Those two were on similar pace throughout the stretch drive, but You Name It had just slightly more to give. She got past Glimpseofthegoddess under the light of the wire to win by a nose in 1:55.1   YOU NAME IT REPLAY     Glimpseofthegoddess was second, and Stylomilohos (Kelly Hoerdt) rode the winner's cover to take show.   You Name It is a nine-year-old Jk Royal Flush mare that owned and trained by Mona Roy of Water Valley. The horse has won 13 races from 154 starts and earned more than $115,000. Her last win came more than three years ago on Dec. 26, 2018 at Fraser.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Dontpokethedragon turned in a quality harness racing performance to take the feature claiming dash at Fraser Downs on Wednesday, Mar. 24.   Driver Brandon Campbell refrained from an early speed duel and dropped his pacing gelding into fourth going towards the first turn. He held position through the quarter in 28.1 and 57.4 before swinging three-wide around stalled first-over horse Pureform Mr Toffee (John Vukelich) and vaulting to the lead.   Dontpokethedragon cleared to the lead just past three-quarters in 1:26.1 and opened up a three-length advantage turning for home. He glided to the line from there, winning by a length and three quarters in 1:55.4. Redneck Jim (Dennis Johnston) recovered after a shuffle to take the place spot, and Sporty Dragon (Scott Knight) was third.       Dontpokethedragon is now seven-for-29 with more than $90,000 in earnings lifetime. Jim Marino co-owns and trains the four-year-old by Custard The Dragon for partners Paul Sanders of Surrey and J J J Stables of Prince George.   Fraser Downs' next race card is scheduled for Friday, Mar. 26 with nine races starting at 8:00 p.m. PDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Fraser Downs had its opening night on Wednesday, Mar. 17, and harness racing trainer Jim Marino was already on top of his game, conditioning four winners.   Marino's Sporty Dragon won the claiming feature, marching first up and scoring handily in rein to Brandon Campbell, last season's leading driver at Fraser.   Campbell found the four-hole with Sporty Dragon early and sat chilly through the quarter in 29 and half in 57.4. He made his move with the odds-on favourite going towards five-eighths, pulling first-over, and advancing to second before three-quarters in 1:26.4.   Longshot leader Mach Silver fought on bravely, but Sporty Dragon was too sharp on this occasion. Sporty Dragon got by late and extended the margin to a length and a quarter in the 1:55.2 win. Mach Silver held second over a charging Pureform Mr Toffee, who finished third. The winner paid $3.00.       Sporty Dragon's perfect start to the season increased his overall win total to six from 22 attempts and his bankroll to $49,074. Marino, a resident of Surrey, co-owns the son of Custard The Dragon with J J J Stables of Prince George. Campbell also put up a grand slam on the evening, visiting the winner's circle after races one, two, eight, and nine.   Kelly Hoerdt, Fraser Downs' top trainer from 2020, was another multi-race winner while both training and driving; he scored in the fourth, fifth, and tenth races.   Fraser Downs will see action again on Mar. 19 with 11 scheduled races starting at 8 p.m. PDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Harness racing driver Brandon Campbell is hot. Red-hot. But Mike Hennessy knows how to run up the heat on his longtime running mate. After all, the two standardbred drivers have battled plenty on the race track over the years. And on Saturday at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino, they’ll go head-to-head again, as they hit the dirt chasing the Gord and Illa Rumpel Memorial piloting the two favourites — Rockinwithcustard and Blue Star Dreaming — in bids to win the high-stakes feature race. “You know Brandon’s going to be a threat at some point,” said Hennessy, last year’s leading driver at Century Downs. “But I don’t get too concerned about him. Me and Brandon have grown up our whole lives together, and we’ve both been red-hot at times. I don’t believe he’s any better than I am out there (Saturday).” The day’s card culminates with not one but two of the year’s largest standardbred races at the Calgary track, each with $50,000 purses awaiting them at the finish line. The Gord and Illa Rumpel Memorial is for three-year-old fillies, while the Ralph Klein Memorial highlights three-year-old colts and geldings, and the pair of stakes races offer up two of the most prestigious awards in Alberta harness racing. “That filly race is a real competitive field,” said Hennessy, a 37-year-old born-and-bred Calgarian. “There’s actually quite a few in the race that are able to step up and get there. Keith Clark’s got (Rockin With Lou) in there. And Kelly Hoerdt has Century Gianna — she’s a good filly. “It’s not a gimme in that one at all for anybody, I don’t think.” Still, on paper, the nod goes to the pre-race favourite, Rockinwithcustard — with Campbell in the driver’s seat — at 2/1 odds out of the No. 2 post. And right next to her is Hennessy and Blue Star Dreaming in the one hole, coming in at 7/2 in the Rumpel. “Not many can move as fast as her down the stretch when she’s healthy and good,” said Hennessy, who’s trying to defend her 2019 Rumpel win — a “lucky” upset with 25/1-standardbred Stash The Cookies. “(Blue Star Dreaming) hadn’t been too healthy over the last month, but then last weekend she’s finally back to her self, so she should be good. “My filly hasn’t been very good on the front end, so I think that’ll tempt Brandon and more of the others to leap out of the gate. I’m going to have to play it by ear. But that filly of mine off of cover can out-pace any one of those when she’s good, so that’s kind of where I want to be.” Where Campbell wants to be is in the winner’s circle — twice. Given his hot streak — somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20 victories in the last two weeks — it’s hardly a long-shot at the 51/2-furlong track. “They’re both coming into it real good,” Campbell said. “They’ve been racing fantastic lately. “Rockinwithcustard’s got an outstanding attitude on her. She wants to be a racehorse. It took (trainer Michael Campbell and Jim Marino’s barn) awhile to get her around, but she now just keeps getting sounder and stronger and better. She’ll be there at the end. It’s just a matter who is going to get a better trip . . . me or Mike. “My horse doesn’t have a ton of gate speed, either. So it’ll be kind of a chess game between me and Mike in that race.” In the follow-up Klein stakes, Campbell expects simply to ease on to the wire with Major Custard, who is unbeaten in 2020. “He’s just an outstanding animal — I think he’s heads above the rest,” said Campbell, also a 37-year-old Calgary native. “I think the only way to beat him is boredom. They’ve been pushing on him, trying to get him beat, and he’s put two or three horses away in a race. He more or less slows himself up at the end of the race once he’s cleared because there’s nobody around. “I think if there was some better horses of his quality around, he’d probably shatter some track records. But he’s really easy on himself. He’s a pretty easy horse to ride because he does most of the work for me. I just try to race him the best I can.” Campbell and Major Custard, at overwhelming 3-5 odds, will face future hall-of-famer Kelly Hoerdt and Criminal Record, a 9-2 second fave — among others — in pursuit of the Ralph Klein victory during the day’s finale at the Calgary track. He hopes by that 11th race that he’s in the running for the major-stakes double. “A sweep would be fantastic — that’s what we’re all going for, right?” Campbell said. “It would be a great payday for me, but when it comes down to these races, it’s more the prestige. It just feels good to be out there winning the big races, right? I grew up in this industry watching all the big races and watching the drivers do it. “And now that I’m in that position, it’s an incredible feeling.” Because of physical distancing measures, there is limited fan access at Century Downs. Racing fans are able to join in on the action at the Derby Restaurant, on the apron patio, on the general admission patio and in the off-track betting lounge as well as online at https://www.cnty.com/centurydowns/live-stream/. Post time is 2:15 p.m. By Todd Saelhof Reprinted with permission of The Calgary Sun

On Tuesday, August 1, at 12 noon, Standardbred Canada issued a statement that harness racing driver Brandon Campbell was removed as Canada's representative at the 2017 World Driving Championship taking place this month, citing that further details would be provided when available. On July 29, Standardbred Canada was notified that the following ruling was issued by Horse Racing Alberta. "Going into an international competition that Canada is hosting in less than two weeks time with a driver that received a major fine and suspension due to a positive test is not indicative to what we want our association to be promoting and supporting to fellow Canadians or the international community," said Dan Gall, President and CEO. "Standardbred Canada made a decision based on the conditions of participation and what we believe is best for the sport and the industry." "There are many stakeholders and sponsors that have been impacted by this decision," said Gall. "This is an unfortunate situation that we have had to manage and it did not come without its sensitivities and consideration. "Standardbred Canada has worked quickly to secure a replacement to ensure that Canada will have representation at this international event." The replacement will be officially announced today (August 2) on the Standardbred Canada website at 4:00 pm EDT. We wish to thank our stakeholders, sponsors and race fans for their patience and understanding.  

This morning, President and CEO of Standardbred Canada Dan Gall announced that, “effective immediately, Standardbred Canada has removed harness racing driver Brandon Campbell as Canada’s representative for the 2017 World Driving Championship.” The decision comes following Campbell’s suspension from competing after his horse Ima Dude failed the routine test for performance-enhancing drugs at a race in Calgary in early July. On July 9, during race five at Century Downs racetrack, Ima Dude tested positive for ephedrine and its metabolite phenylpropanolamine, and pyrilamine and its metabolite o-desmethylphrilamine. The violation incurred a $4,000 fine and a full suspension from racing until January 31, 2018, which means that Campbell will be unable to compete in the competition set for this August. Campbell would have been the first driver from western Canada to represent the country in the World Driving Championships 25-year history. Since Campbell started his career in harness racing in 2003, he has driven more than 1,300 winners and earned more than $8 million for them. Campbell is a familiar face at Fraser Downs – he was the leading dash driver on the track in 2015. His official Canadian driving colours and helmet were presented at the winner’s circle at Fraser Downs on April 21. Gall and Harness Racing BC Executive Director Carla Robin presented the colours to him in a special ceremony. Campbell qualified for the World Championships by winning the 2016 National Driving Championships in October 2016, and he was expected to compete in the 2017 World Driving Championships across the country from August 12 to 18. It was Campbell’s third time competing in nationals, and his first victory. “It’s just a dream come true to do this,” Campbell told the Reporter in April. “I’m just very excited.” Standardbred Canada has not yet released information on whether Campbell will be replaced in the World Championships set for this August. By Samantha Anderson Reprinted with permission of The Surrey Now-Leader

Harness racing driver Brandon Campbell was presented with the official Canadian driving colours and helmet for the upcoming 2017 World Driving Championship (WDC) in the winner's circle at Fraser Downs on Friday, April 21. The 33-year-old Calgary resident will represent Canada in this year’s WDC, presented by Standardbred Canada from August 12–18. Dan Gall, President and CEO of Standardbred Canada, along with Donna Scrannage, President of Harness Racing BC,  Carla Robin, Executive Director of Harness Racing B.C., and Darren MacDonald, Director of Racing for Great Canadian Gaming, made the presentation prior to the evening's first race. Campbell is the first Western-based harness driver to represent Canada in the WDC and was named the Canadian rep after winning the National Driving Championship last October at The Raceway at the Western Fair District in London, Ont. 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 in June at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino in Calgary, Alta. He won that event for the second consecutive time, leading to a coveted spot in the Nationals. "We saw you out in London, Ontario win the Nationals and you did an incredible job," said Gall during the presentation. "On behalf of Harness Racing B.C., Great Canadian Gaming and Standardbred Canada, we'll be out there with you. We're expecting that cup and we know we'll get it from you...no pressure! But have fun and thank you very much. You're an awesome representation for Canada." John Aldag, Member of Parliament for Cloverdale-Langley City, also offered Campbell congratulations and best wishes for the upcoming competition. "Brandon, on behalf of the Government of Canada, I'm pleased and proud to extend congratulations on your success to win the Western Regional Driving Championship and going on to win the National Driving Championship, which earned you the right to represent Canada at the World Driving Championship this summer, where you'll represent Canada in harness racing against the best in the world," said Aldag. "We know that you'll be an outstanding ambassador for our country and will wear our colours proudly. We wish you further success and to be first past the post throughout the 22-race series to bring the World Championship to Canada. Again, congratulations and all the best!" The WDC will showcase drivers from 11 countries and consist of 22 races spanning five different racetracks in four provinces. Drivers will earn points based on their finishing position and the top point-earner will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money. "I've had a lot of thoughts about it, but I try not to think about it too much because I get pretty excited and worked up, and it's a long ways away yet," said Campbell, who has driven over 1,300 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $8 million during his career, which started in 2003. "There's been a lot of thoughts and a lot of dreams as I go to bed at night. It's just a dream come true to do this and I'm just very excited." The first leg will kick off at Century Downs on Saturday, August 12. The drivers will then head to Ontario for the next two legs at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville on August 14 and Georgian Downs in Innisfil on August 15. The action then moves to Trois-Rivières, Que. on August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg before the drivers head to Prince Edward Island's Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on August 18, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week. "I think I've got a huge advantage," said Campbell of the 2017 WDC being contested on his home turf. "I've driven on all the tracks other than Quebec, and Quebec is built the same as CDP. Our racing style is different, our rules are different, everything's a little different. It's going to be a little bit to adjust to the way these guys drive, but like I said, I think I really do have a big advantage, and I'm going to take the red and the white all the way." The WDC, along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, to be hosted in Charlottetown, are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.   Kathy Wade Vlaar Manager of Industry Marketing

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 about 6:45 p.m. (PST) 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 1300 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 at home.   Kathy Wade Vlaar Manager of Industry Marketing

Brandon Campbell, Canada’s representative to the 2017 World Driving Championship has confirmed the design for his Canadian colours following input from harness racing fans across the country via an online poll on standardbredcanada.ca Fans had the opportunity to vote for one of four designs screened by Campbell. When all was said and done, concepts three and four received the majority of the votes and Campbell was asked to select one of the two designs. Campbell has chosen concept #3. (concept attached)  “I’m starting to get excited!” Campbell told Trot Insider.  “Getting the colours and helmet made is the first step and I can’t wait to try them on.  I would like to thank everybody for taking the time to vote and I really like this design!” Campbell’s colours and helmet will go into production shortly and plans are underway to have a presentation of the colours to him at both Fraser Downs in Surrey, BC and Century Downs Racetrack and Casino in Balzac, Alberta. Wearing your country’s colours in an international sporting event is a proud moment for any athlete and Campbell is eagerly anticipating that moment when he shows off his Canadian driving colours in the first race of the first leg of the World Driving Championship scheduled for Saturday, August 12 at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino near Calgary, Alberta. He is one in the field of eleven drivers in the WDC who will compete in 22 races at five different racetracks.  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 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, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week. This event, which is held in conjunction with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, hosted in Charlottetown, PEI, which are both held every two years, will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.  

Brandon Campbell won the 2016 National Driving Championship (NDC) on Friday, Oct. 14 at The Raceway at the Western Fair District in London, Ont. and will represent Canada in the 2017 World Driving Championship, which will be hosted by Standardbred Canada at harness racing racetracks across the country next August. Campbell accumulated the most points during the eight-race driving tournament over seven other top Canadian reinsmen to earn the honours of representing his country on the international stage. The 33-year-old reinsman from Calgary, Alta. advanced to the National Driving Championship after winning the Western Regional Driving Championship this past June at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino -- one of four regional tournaments from which the top two point earners advanced to the NDC. This was Campbell's third time competing in the NDC and his first victory. "I've done this three times now, I'm thrilled," said Campbell. "I don't even know what to say." Campbell put together a string of runner-up finishes in four straight legs of the NDC to remain a contender throughout the heated competition in which seven different drivers earned wins. Campbell padded his leading point total with his first victory of the tournament in the seventh leg, guiding Wacky Rei ($4.90) to victory. He secured the lead from the inside post with the four-year-old pacing mare and held off the pocket-pulling Shesastarreporter and James MacDonald in a photo finish for the 1:58 victory. While Campbell said he was confident in his chances of winning the NDC title, there was an anxious moment when his mount broke stride at the start of the final race leaving the door wide open for James MacDonald, the runner-up in the point standings, to steal the glory with a first or second-place finish. "There were tears. I was crying a little bit," Campbell said of his reaction when he was taken out of contention in the final leg. "I was watching James second over, he was the first or second favourite, and I thought it was all over. He went to move her and she didn't have any go and I started cheering again 'go boys go.'" MacDonald finished sixth in the final race, won by longshot winner Ivegotmyeyeonu and Trevor Henry, and was unable to catch Campbell atop the leaderboard. Campbell secured the 2016 National Driving Championship title with 63 points while James MacDonald finished second with 57 points. Jason Hughes, the only two-leg winner in the competition, was third with 52 points. Jim Marino (50 points), Henry (45), Brett MacDonald (41), Guy Gagnon (32) and Corey MacPherson (30) completed the order of finish. The National Driving Championship consisted of races two through six and eight through 10 on the Friday program at The Raceway. Drivers were able to have input into the horses they drove as a hockey pool style "draft" was conducted Tuesday for them to choose their horses in each race before the post position draw was made. FINAL POINT TOTALS: 1. Brandon Campbell - 63 2. James MacDonald - 57 3. Jason Hughes - 52 4. Jim Marino - 50 5. Trevor Henry - 45 6. Brett MacDonald - 41 7. Guy Gagnon - 32 8. Corey MacPherson - 30   Jeff Porchak   Standardbred Canada

EDMONTON, AB - The 2014/2015 Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino harness racing season came to close this afternoon with a 10-race card at the Edmonton oval. "Northlands Park is alive with action 363 days a year and the harness racing season captures some of the most exciting three months in the racing calendar," said Tim Reid, President and CEO, Northlands. "The 2014 and 2015 harness racing season was no exception, as some of the best Standardbreds, trainers and drivers in the nation came to the track to give our guests a great experience." The season's two biggest races at Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino were the Western Canada Pacing Derby on December 6, 2014 and the Northlands Filly Pace on December 13, 2014. Rummys Command trained and driven by Keith Clark won the $70,000 Northlands Filly Pace while Outlaw Gunpowder, driven by Philip Giesbrecht and trained by Kelly Hoerdt, took the $95,000 Western Canada Pacing Derby. The 2014/2015 harness season showcased the continued dominance of the 2013 O'Brien Award winner for Rising Star, Travis Cullen. He was the runaway winner in both the trainer and driver categories, never being challenged from the outset. A few career milestones were also set at the meet. Driver Brandon Campbell recorded his 1,000th victory in the sulky, and trainer Doug Shaw recorded his 1,000th win conditioning horses. Driver and trainer Jamie Gray recorded his 1,500th training victory while closing in on his 2,300th driving win. To round out the 2014/2015 harness racing season, Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino is proud to celebrate Alberta's champions for 2014 at the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association Awards Night on Sunday, February 1 in the Paddock Theatre. Harness racing in Alberta will resume after a short break on March 28 at the all new Century Downs racing facility near Calgary. Horse racing returns to Northlands Park when the 77-day thoroughbred meet kicks off on Friday, May 1 with a 6:30 p.m. post time. Chris Roberts

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