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June's Calendar Photographer

Published: June 1, 2021 9:24 am ET

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The June Heart of Harness Calendar image, also featured as the calendar’s cover was taken by Quebec-based photographer, Pierre Rochette of La Malbaie.

The striking image was taken at Hippodrome de la Vallée in Saint-Aimé-Des Lacs, Que., in the Charlevoix tourist region. Hippodrome de la Vallée hosts many events throughout the year including the Rodeo de Charlevoix and the famous 5 Milles de Charlevoix race.

When asked how he managed to take such an impactful photo, Rochette responded, “I used a big 400mm tele, it’s good for compressing the scene. The horses seem very close together because of the compression of the big lens, the big’s what makes the photo more spectacular!”

There are many other events that have taken place at Hippodrome de la Vallée throughout the years including the Challenge Drivers de la Relève and the Challenge des Conductrices, which aims to recruit new drivers and allows youth and women to experience driving horses.

Rochette is a press photographer for the newspaper in the Charlevoix region and was assigned to take photos for the harness racing events across the region. He has been taking photos of horse racing for over three decades, and has been the photographer at Hippodrome de la Vallée for the past 25 years.

With racing currently underway in the province of Quebec, Pierre is hopeful that the fair races will continue this summer and that he will have the chance to photograph at Hippodrome de la Vallée again this August.

Pierre has been a staple in the Heart of Harness Racing Calendar, and this will be the sixth time that one of his photos has been featured. In past years he has submitted many outstanding images from Quebec, and has had photos published in the Heart of Harness Racing Calendar in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2019, 2020 and now 2021.

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