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Former champions McNair, Barrieau top field for Canadian driving championship event

Drivers and horses head into a turn during harness racing action in the 2008 opening day program at the Charlottetown Driving Park in Charlottetown on Saturday, April 19, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

EDMONTON — Former champions Doug McNair and Gilles Barrieau top the field for the 2022 Canadian driving championship.

This year's event will be held Thursday at Century Mile Racetrack and Casino. McNair, of Guelph, Ont., and Barrieau, of Moncton, N.B., will be among eight drivers competing over eight races on the card.

The overall winner will represent Canada at the '23 world driving championships that will be held in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium from Aug. 14-18.

McNair won the Canadian title in 2019 and stood second heading into the final leg of the world event that was held in Sweden before finishing fourth overall. Barrieau was crowned national champion in 2007.

The eight drivers will represent four regions Thursday. Joining McNair (Ontario) and Barrieau (Atlantic Canada) will be Pascal Berube (Quebec/Eastern Ontario), Marc Campbell (Atlantic Canada), Samuel Fillion (Quebec/Eastern Ontario), Mike Hennessy (Western Canada), Dave Kelly (Western Canada) and Louis-Philippe Roy (Ontario).

“Century Mile Racetrack and Casino is excited to host this prestigious event," Allen Goodsell, the racing manager for Century Mile Racetrack and Casino, said in a statement. "Our teams and customers are ready for the thrill of witnessing eight of Canada’s best drivers competing at our track.

"This is an incredible opportunity to see who will represent Canada at the world driving championship."

Entries were finalized Sunday. A draft was held and drivers selected their horses for each race with the post position draw going afterwards.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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