Standardbred Canada announced today that Kawartha Downs in Fraserville, Ontario, will host the Eastern Ontario/Quebec Regional Driving Championship for harness racing drivers on Saturday, June 30, 2018.

The host tracks and dates for all of the Regional Driving Championships that will take place across the country this year were announced today by SC. The top two drivers from each Regional competition will advance to the National Driving Championship (NDC) at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ontario, on Wednesday, September 26.

The winner of the 2018 National Driving Championship will have the opportunity to represent Canada in the 2019 World Driving Championship in Sweden.

This is the first time Kawartha Downs has hosted a Regional Driving Championship during the 11 year history of these events. A field of eight or nine (to be determined) of the top drivers from Kawartha, Rideau Carleton Raceway and Hippodrome 3R will compete for points in the event and a coveted spot in the National Championship.

“We are very pleased to have been selected by Standardbred Canada to host our regional championship,” said Kawartha’s Marketing Director Heather MacKay Roberts. “I believe we have the ideal components to make it an exceptional event: our horse people are incredible for supporting new and creative initiatives on and off track, our fans are very enthusiastic and welcome new ideas with open arms and our staff dig in to successfully implement them.

“We’ve always had a very deep and talented driving colony at Kawartha Downs and I’m sure the drivers will put on a great show on June 30.”

Drivers must earn their way into the NDC by finishing first or second at their Regional Driving Championship. Here are the locations and dates for the four regional events:

Western Regional — Century Downs, Saturday, June 23
 (Drivers from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba)

Ontario Regional – The Raceway, Western Fair District, Wed. May 16 (Drivers from Ontario)

Quebec / Eastern Ontario Regional – Kawartha Downs, Saturday, June 30 (Drivers who compete regularly at Kawartha Downs, Rideau Carleton & Hippodrome 3R)

Atlantic Regional – Truro Raceway, Friday, June 29  (Includes drivers from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island)

Regional events will feature either eight or nine drivers who will compete in a minimum of eight races. Drivers will receive points based on their finishing position and the top two point earners will advance.

The winner of the 2018 National Driving Championship will have the opportunity to join 2017 World Driving Champion, James MacDonald, of Guelph, Ontario, and represent Canada in the 2019 World Driving Championship in Sweden.

SC hosted the 2017 World Driving Championship in August of last year and MacDonald’s victory earned him an automatic invitation to the 2019 event where he will represent Canada alongside the winner of the 2018 National Championship.