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Gingras Goes Back To School

Published: April 15, 2015 1:20 pm ET

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Yannick Gingras, the 2014 Driver of the Year in the United States, went back to school on Monday, April 13 as guest speaker at two Grade 10 French classes in an Allentown, New Jersey high school.

Gingras, a native of Sorel, Quebec, is a native speaker who became fluent in English in his 20s when he moved to the United States to compete.

The classes were taught by Standardbred breeder and owner Kathy Hock Ricci, who prepared the class with vocabulary words in advance, such as pouliche (filly) and poulain (colt).

Gingras spoke for over an hour to each class, showing his casque (helmet) and driving colours; he spoke a few sentences in French and then translated those sentences into English.

He discussed racing strategy using video from races he won with Mission Brief, Foiled Again and Limelight Beach, stopping and starting the video to show various crucial points in the race.

Gingras also wove in some life lessons, discussing that he loses more than he wins and even in times of great disappointment, such as the loss in the 2014 Hambletonian with favoured Father Patrick, it is important to face difficult situations and not dwell on mistakes and misfortune.

Students had questions, in French, about his favourite horse (Foiled Again), injuries he’s had (broken collarbone and concussion), as well as whether he rides horses (absolutely not, he’s afraid and feels he has no control).

At the end of the class, students were allowed to momentarily turn on their cell phones in order to ‘like’ Gingras on Facebook (Yannick Gingras) and follow him on Twitter (@Gingras3).

This was the third year Gingras shared his vocation with area high school students in his native French, providing a chance for students to practice language learning in a real life situation.

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit

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