Standardbred Canada are once again looking for regional qualifying rounds for the National Driving Championship in Canada and I will take a look at the local region here in New Brunswick.
Who ultimately will get the chance to compete?
Let's take a look. We have a number of talented and capable drivers in our province so to narrow it down is harder than one might think. I will give it a whirl and welcome comments.
If there are eight challengers, here are the top-four I think will be quite easy in selecting. Gilles Barrieau, who will race out of P.E.I but is still a resident of New Brunswick is the first logical choice.
Gilles has represented Canada at the worlds previously and is a automatic selection. Next, Todd Trites would be the second selection. He continues to post impressive numbers in Saint John and Fredericton, and is a popular catch-driver right through the Maritime driving circuit.
My third choice is Mark Haig. Year after year the quiet and talented teamster who makes harness racing driving a weekend job, is always in the top five in standings at both tracks in N.B. For the fourth spot, I will say Stephen Trites, the elder brother of Todd and a more than capable driver.
In fifth spot, I will put in Gordon Hennessey, the Moncton native and brother to Wally and Jody Hennessey and a very good option for catch-driving assignments in the province. For positions six through eight, its gets a little tougher.
There are a number of capable drivers that could fill the last three spots and its a tough call. In no particular order, my picks for the final three regional competitors are Lonny Stokes, Dale Spence and Chris Davies.
Like I said, a tough call and there are a few more who could easily make the grade but these are my picks for the eight representatives who will compete to represent N.B in the Atlantic Regional Final later this year in P.E.I.
by Scott Waddell, for Horse Racing New Brunswick. Contact Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org