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"Everything Fell Into Place"

Published: February 7, 2020 4:32 pm ET

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As you read this, horseman Gilles Barrieau will be in Florida, enjoying the sun and possibly a cold beverage. Many would agree that he's earned it.

Barrieau took home the O’Brien bronze for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship at last Saturday's 2019 O'Brien Awards.  Annually one of the top percentage drivers in the country, the Saint John, N.B. native posted a 0.401 UDRS in 2019 while competing regularly on the Red Shores circuit.  The veteran horseman, who also won this award in 2005, finished second in the driver standings for both wins and earnings at Red Shores Charlottetown & Summerside venues last year and ended his season with 151 victories and more than $435,000 in earnings.

"To be nominated again in 2019, it was just great to be back here and got the award so it's all good."

In addition to catch driving, Barrieau continues to train a compact stable that registered 40 wins and $178,000 in purse earnings last year. He plans to once again campaign a relatively small stable in 2020, and his bucket list for the year is as modest as the man himself.

"Just to stay consistent," Barrieau told SC's Rachel Oenema. "I'm very competitive and I don't like to lose."

Given the recent news that Barrieau would be moving from his longtime base in New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island, would Barrieau consider moving to a more lucrative location? And what is it about Maritime horsemen that makes them so competitive away from eastern Canada? Find out all that and more in the interview below.

This is the fourth in a series of post-event video interviews with O'Brien Award finalists, sponsored by Horse Racing Alberta.

On Saturday, February 1, Standardbred Canada announced the winners for the 2019 O’Brien Award at the 31st edition of the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala held at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale hotel in Mississauga, Ont. The O’Brien Awards honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season and are named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The event was covered live on the SC website. The official list of winners is available here, with the official voting results available here.


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