Borth And Rooney Excited For First Ontario Regional

2024 ORDC contenders Garrett Rooney and Tyler Borth
Published: April 18, 2024 10:30 am EDT

On Tuesday, April 23, Tyler Borth and Garrett Rooney will compete in the Ontario Regional Driving Championship (ORDC) at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The first and second place drivers will advance to the National Driving Championship (NDC) in Trois-Rivières, Que., on July 5. The champion of the 2024 NDC will earn an invitation to represent Canada in the 2025 World Driving Championship (WDC) in New Zealand. 

Borth and Rooney are first-time ORDC entrants, and the pair is looking forward to an exciting evening of racing at The Raceway. 

Borth, who just came off a career-best season last year with 414 victories and $4.3 million banked, is competing in his first-ever Regional Driving Championship. This season so far, the Ingersoll, Ont. resident has just over 100 driving wins and $1.1 million in earnings. On top of his busy racing schedule, Borth is training a stable of 10 and has 155 lifetime training wins. 

Rooney, who also had his best season last year, finished 2023 with 264 wins and over $1.4 million in purse earnings. He is currently sitting atop the 2024 driver standings at The Raceway with 79 wins on the London, Ont. oval. The Iona, Ont. driver has won 1,591 races lifetime with earnings of more than $8.5 million. After coming off consecutive million-dollar seasons, he was invited to partake in his first Regional Driving Championship. 

Standardbred Canada asked Borth (TB) and Rooney (GR) several questions in advance of the Ontario Regional to get their thoughts on the competition. 

What were your thoughts when you got the call to participate in the ORDC?

TB: "I was very excited. I think anytime you get a chance to represent your province or potentially represent your country for a sport, it is a pretty big deal."

GR: "I was surprised really at first. I didn’t think I would be in the running or even thought of, so it was a surprise, but I am excited to participate. I texted my brother Darryl and sent him a Snapchat of the information because I was excited and thought he would be happy for me to get the opportunity. He follows the racing and keeps tabs on what I am doing and where I am racing."

What are your thoughts on driving with the eight other drivers in the championship?

TB: "I think it’s a great field of drivers, they are all pretty competitive, so I have a feeling there aren’t going to be a lot of favours given while racing. I’m going to have to be sharp and on my game."

GR: "Well, it’s a pretty tough bunch of guys, so it won’t be easy, that’s for sure. I will probably be the longshot of the day, so maybe there won’t be as much pressure on me."

How does it feel to have the opportunity to participate in the ORDC and possibly advance and win the national to then represent Canada in the 2025 World Driving Championship? 

TB: "That would be an absolute dream of mine. To have the chance to advance and win the National and have the opportunity to represent Canada would be a dream come true."

GR: "It’s great to be thought of for the regionals, and to represent Canada would be a great honour. To go away to another country and see how they race would be a great experience. I don’t get the chance to go on many holidays, so to get to go on one and race in the WDC would be great. It’s also nice for the small tracks to be included in the RDC and that we are given a thought. I know we race on a lot smaller of a scale, but we do a lot of racing and it’s nice for us to get recognized and get a chance to participate in the regional."

Do you think you have any advantage over the other drivers?

TB: "I think I could if I get the horsepower. I have a lot of starts in London, more than some of the other drivers aside from Trevor Henry. I know the gate pretty good with the new starter and I know the track well, so I guess I have a bit of an advantage because I have a lot of experience racing there. I think another advantage is that I know a lot about the horses that race in London and so does Garrett."

GR: "I don’t know if I have any advantages, all the drivers have driven in London and they all know the track, so I can’t say I have any real advantage. The only advantage is that I would know more of the horses over the other guys."

Are you doing anything to prep for the ORDC?

TB: "No, just staying busy and trying to have lots of rest and have my game face on when the day comes."

GR: "No, not doing anything extra. More or less waiting to see how the draw comes out and waiting to see what horses I am on and then I’ll make a game plan from there with each horse."  

Is there anything special that you are looking forward to about the ORDC?

TB: "Looking forward to potentially winning it! It will be a great day, with a great field of drivers and it will be nice to compete against all of them."

GR: "I just want to see how I end up driving against all these other guys, especially James and Trevor. It’s a competitive group of drivers and I’d like to see how I compete against them and where I stack up."

The first race post time for the ORDC card of harness racing is 5:50 p.m. (EST), with the first ORDC race taking place in Race 3. Borth and Rooney will compete against Travis CullenTravis HenryTrevor HenryBrett MacDonaldJames MacDonaldBob McClure and Louis-Philippe Roy.

The nine drivers will participate in nine competition races. Each race will have a field of eight and each driver will compete in eight races, drive from every post position, and sit out for one race.

Drivers will receive points based on their finishing position and the top two drivers from the nine-race competition will advance to the 2024 National Driving Championship (NDC) at Hippodrome 3R, in Trois-Rivières, Que., on Friday, July 5. The winner of the 2024 NDC will have the opportunity to represent Canada in the 2025 World Driving Championship. 


The Regional Driving Championships and the National Driving Championship will adopt the point system utilized in the World Driving Championship. Points will be awarded on the order of finish as follows:

Number of Starters: 8
15 points (1st), 10 (2), 7 (3), 5 (4), 4 (5), 3 (6), 2 (7), 1 (8)

Number of Starters: 7
14 points (1st), 9 (2), 6 (3), 4 (4), 3 (5), 2 (6), 1 (7)

In the event of a scratch, the driving rep drawn to a horse shall drive the ‘Also Eligible’ horse. In the event of a horse being scratched or where no horse is available, five points shall be awarded to the driver concerned. If a horse is disqualified or a horse and driver fail to complete the race, they will receive one point.

In the event of a dead heat for any placing in any race, the points for the horses involved will be added together and divided equally among the drivers concerned (eg. If there’s a dead heat for third between two horses, the points for third and fourth place will be added and divided among the drivers).

(Standardbred Canada; Photo of Tyler Borth by Michelle Hogan and photo of Garrett Rooney by Ryan Clements)

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