Hebert Drives On

Published: May 13, 2012 06:34 pm EDT

Hall of Fame horseman Jacques Hebert’s career in the sulky is pretty much over, but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped driving


These days, though, he does most of it at a stock-car school near Montreal, where he helps out friend and owner Jean-Paul Cabana as a teacher.

“I’ve been driving race cars for 30 years, for my pleasure,” said Hebert, 69.

The career winner of 6,036 harness races hasn’t driven in one of those since last October, when he guided Circles in the Breeders Crown final for two-year-old trotting fillies at Woodbine Racetrack.

The filly has since been sold, ending their lucrative association.

“That’s okay,” he said. “Owners and trainers have their own drivers; I understand that.”

Hebert, who also trains, is down to one horse, a three-year-old Majestic Son trotter called Majestic Mystic that he sent from his Quebec base to trainer Benoit Baillargeon in Ontario.

“Depending how he turns out, that could be it for me. I still like to get behind the gate, but opportunities are limited now for someone who doesn’t do it every night, and I don’t. I’m not a spring chicken. We all have to turn the page one day.”

As difficult as it’s been to let go of the sport he still loves, Hebert suffered a tougher blow when his brother Denis, 65, died of pneumonia in January. They’d been partners 27 years in a tractor-trailer that Denis drove.

“I’ve sold the truck,” Hebert said. “I had kept it for him. He was not only my brother, but my best friend.”

(Trot Insider exclusive by Paul Delean / Photo courtesy New Image Media)



David (Bud) Wright

I have may fond memories of Jacques driving. He and Percy Robillard were the two best trotting men there at the time. And as was noted the did keep a very nice barn. When they had tours of the barn area for school children. They were taken to the barn of Jacques Hebert and the late Roger White it almost looked like a contest who between those two great horseman kept the better barn

One of the classiest persons to ever sit behind a horse. Well deservant of his Hall of Fame status.

I knew Jacques many years ago when he had one of the best stables at Blue Bonnets. My friend , Nat Fersten , was one of his owners and one of the first horses I remember was Camaro Lobell . Those were wonderful days at the track on Saturday mornings after a hard weeks' work . My lasting impressions are of how immaculate Jacques kept his stable and equipment and of how thoroughly professional he was in everything he did ! Thanks for this story and the happy memories it engendered . Patrick McWade.

I hope Jacques has not driven his last race. As an trainer/driver to owner, Jacques always displayed a large degree of reserved class. Especially with young trotters, if Jacques is driving against you, better handicap pretty closely. He is an over achiever on the track.

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