"To Represent Canada Would Be Like Winning The Lottery"

QEORDC contenders Jimmy Gagnon and Stephane Pouliot
Published: May 29, 2024 07:30 pm EDT

On Sunday, June 2, Jimmy Gagnon and Stephane Pouliot will compete in the Quebec/Eastern Ontario Regional Driving Championship (QEORDC), presented by Standardbred Canada (SC), at Hippodrome 3R, in Trois-Rivières, Que.

The first and second-place drivers of the tournament will return to Hippodrome 3R on July 5, for the National Driving Championship (NDC), presented by SC. The champion of the 2024 NDC will earn an invitation to represent Canada in the 2025 World Driving Championship, held in New Zealand and Australia.

First-time QEORDC competitor Jimmy Gagnon is excited to race against a familiar field of drivers this Sunday. During his racing career, Gagnon has driven 186 winners and horses to more than $1.2 million in lifetime earnings. The Ste-Sophie, Que. horseman will be going up against Stephane Pouliot, a four-time QEORDC competitor. Over Pouliot’s 20-year driving career, he has accumulated nearly 1,700 lifetime wins with his mounts earnings $8 million in purses.

Standardbred Canada interviewed Gagnon (JG) and Pouliot (SP) to discuss their thoughts and feelings about the upcoming championship.

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

JG: "I was happy because last year I was just shy of making it into the tournament. All my friends and family will be watching so it will be one of the best moments this summer." 

SP: "I am happy to drive alongside the other guys, I’m looking forward to it." 

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

JG: "They are all friends of mine, I feel confident, I drive with them weekly so I’m familiar with their driving styles." 

SP: "All the drivers in the tournament are good. The outcome will depend on the horses; even a good driver who drives a 90-1 is no good." 

How does it feel to have the opportunity to represent your province in the Regional Driving Championship and possibly represent Canada in the 2025 World Driving Championship?

JG: "Great. To represent Canada would be like winning the lottery, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

SP: "It is a really good feeling, I’m very happy." 

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

JG: "No, the entries and draft call will decide who has the advantage. Everyone competing in the tournament can make a horse go."

SP: "No, because the tournament is on a half-mile track, they’ve been driving it a long time." 

Are you doing anything to prep for the QEORDC?

JG: "I will clean my bike for the day." 

SP: "Well, every day and night I drive, I don’t change up my routine." 

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

JG: "It will be a special day. They are a great group of guys, plus all my family and friends will be there to watch." 

SP: "I have a couple of friends that will come out and my family will be there as well. Lots of support." 

Gagnon and Pouliot will compete against Pascal BerubeNick BoydStephane BrosseauSamuel FillionGuy Gagnon and Robert Shepherd.

Drivers will receive points based on their finishing position. The point system for scoring is outlined below.


The Regional Driving Championships and the National Driving Championship will adopt the point system used in the World Driving Championship. Points will be distributed based on the finishing order as follows:

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

If a horse is scratched, the designated driver will instead drive the 'also eligible' horse. If a horse is scratched or unavailable, the driver will receive five points. In case of disqualification or failure to complete the race, one point will be awarded. In the event of a dead heat, the points for the horses involved will be combined and evenly distributed among the drivers.

The first race post time for the QEORDC card of harness racing on Sunday is 12 p.m. (EDT).

To view Sunday's harness racing entries before the draft, click on one of the following links: Hippodrome 3R - Sunday Entries. Drivers will draft their horses on Thursday, May 30.

(Standardbred Canada)

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