Brosseau Wins Quebec/Eastern Ontario Regional Driving Championship

Driver Stephane Brosseau and Gladiator S BG winning at Hippodrome 3R
Published: June 2, 2024 05:37 pm EDT

Stephane Brosseau topped the leaderboard in the 2024 Quebec/Eastern Ontario Regional Driving Championship (QEORDC), presented by Standardbred Canada on Sunday, June 2 at Hippodrome 3R, and will advance to the National Driving Championship (NDC) next month back at the Trois-Rivières, Que. racetrack.

Stephane Brosseau finished the eight-race competition with 67 points atop the standings with Robert Shepherd coming in second, finishing just two points behind, and also advancing to the NDC on July 5.

The top two finishers in the final regional event complete the field of drivers for the NDC. They will join defending champion Doug McNair, Atlantic Regional Driving Championship leaders Redmond Doucet and David Dowling, Ontario Regional Driving Championship qualifiers Tyler Borth and James MacDonald, and Western Regional Driving Championship representatives Phil Giesbrecht and Mike Hennessy. The NDC winner will represent Canada at the 2025 World Driving Championship in New Zealand.

Quebec/Eastern Ontario Regional Driving Championship winner Stephane Brosseau and runner-up Robert Shepherd

Quebec/Eastern Ontario Regional Driving Championship winner Stephane Brosseau and runner-up Robert Shepherd, with Standardbred Canada directors Guillaume Cayer-Richard and Richard Veilleux, and 3R announcer Guy Lafontaine.

Brosseau, 54, was a previous NDC runner-up in 2018 at Grand River Raceway and the L'Assomption, Que. horseman will be looking to improve on that result on his home turf.

"I'm very excited to drive against all these good drivers," said Brosseau, who has driven winners of 3,816 races in his career. "And you know, like you said, I've been there before and it's a very nice thing to live.

"I'm happy to represent Three Rivers and being at the place I've been for, I don't know, 25 years, 30 years. At my age, I know there's not many coming up after, so I'm trying to enjoy it inch by inch." 

Despite having some concerns with the post draw for his drafted line up, Brosseau showcased his driving talent, his horses showed up and he had a little luck on his side.

"It's always the horses at the end there that decide if it's going good or not," said a humble Brosseau, whose QEORDC highlights included a pair of winners and two second-place finishes. "You can drive good, but it doesn't mean the horse is going to respond like you think."

The competition was fierce, but Brosseau was in the hunt for the title right from start, missing by just a neck in the opening leg with 26-1 shot Betonawheeln. He moved within one point of leader Guy Gagnon by the competition's midway mark, winning the fourth leg with the Nicole Gagne-trained pacing mare Better Kissthe Men ($4.10) in 1:57.2. 

Brosseau solidified his lead during the back half of the QEORDC, gaining enough points to tie Gagnon then top the leaderboard the rest of the way, with his second winner in leg six giving him a boost to hold off the competition. Brosseau was the first driver to repeat in the tournament with favourite Gladiator S BG ($2.30) overcoming an outside post after being parked through the first half-mile and holding off all challengers for the 1:57.3 neck victory, keeping the Jacques Dupont-trained colt's sophomore record perfect in three starts. 

A judges placing in the final leg provided the luck portion of the winning equation for Brosseau when Gagnon's first-place finisher Greystone Watchman was placed back to third in the race for causing interference, ultimately taking him out of the running for a spot in the NDC. Brosseau and Ladycorona were bumped from third to second in the race with Robert Shepherd inheriting his first win of the competition in rein to the Michel Allard-trained mare YS Sensationalcity ($6). The win for Shepherd secured him the QEORDC runner-up honours after he had hit the board five times leading up to the final leg.

Here's how the QEORDC races unfolded.

QEORDC Leg 1 (3R Race 2)

Samuel Fillion kicked off the competition with a 9-1 upset as he put the Gabriel Beaumont-trained trotter Miles Of Muscle ($21.50) on the lead heading into the backstretch the first time and held off Betonawheelin and Stephane Brosseau when they rallied three-wide for the stretch drive after an early miscue. Miles Of Muscle prevailed in a photo finish by a neck in 2:01.3. Guy Gagnon rode the pocket to a third-place finish in rein to On The Sly.

QEORDC Leg 2 (3R Race 3)

The second leg of the Quebec/Eastern Ontario Regional ended in a battle of the favourites in deep stretch, as Guy Gagnon and the Denis Belanger-trained pacing mare Latte Seelster ($5.80) jolted off the gate and held off Robert Shepherd and Prettydiva after they rallied three-wide down the backstretch in pursuit of the runaway leader on the front. Latte Seelster prevailed in the photo finish in 1:58 by a quarter-length. Samuel Fillion and Way Over tracked the runner-up's cover down the backstretch and followed five lengths back in third. Gagnon moved into a tie atop the leaderboard with first leg winner Fillion.

QEORDC Leg 3 (3R Race 4)

Nick Boyd survived a judges inquiry with the Claude Beausoleil-trained pacing gelding Iceneedswhiskey ($7.10) for a hotly contested victory in the third leg. Boyd and post two starter Iceneedswhiskey emerged from a five-wide tussle to the first turn as the leader with Robert Shepherd and Flashjack Soleil left parked out and challenging the entire mile. Those two battled head-to-head down the backstretch and all the way to the wire with Iceneedswhiskey ultimately prevailing in a photo finish by a quarter-length in 1:57.3. Pascal Berube and Cesar PL finished third. Samuel Fillion edged ahead of Guy Gagnon in the point standings for the top spot with a fourth-place finish aboard Pey Bug.

QEORDC Leg 4 (3R Race 5)

Stephane Brosseau struck in the fourth leg with even-money pacing mare Better Kissthe Men ($4.10) wearing down the front-striding 6-5 second choice Shanghaibluebeach and Guy Gagnon at the finish line in 1:57.2 for the one-length victory. Brosseau made the winning move approaching the half-mile mark when he sent the Nicole Gagne trainee first-up from third. Jimbelina powered past rivals three-wide down the backstretch into contention and had the edge in a show photo for Robert Shepherd.

Guy Gagnon took over the lead in the standings at the midway mark with his runner-up finish, just one point ahead of Brosseau (35-34). Shepherd moved into third over early leader Samuel Fillion.

QEORDC Leg 5 (3R Race 6)

Pascal Berube delivered a winning performance in the fifth leg off a pocket trip with 1-5 favourite Mach Tie Son ($2.70). With the inside post advantage, Berube won an early four-wide battle for the lead but gave way to Samuel Fillion and Mach Play as that pair pressed on from the outside into the backstretch. Berube bided his time in the pocket with the Daniel Molaison-trained pacing gelding before making his move in the final turn to defeat the pacesetter by a three-quarters of a length in 1:58.2. Third prize went to late-closer Big Zaid and Nick Boyd. Atop the tournament leaderboard, Guy Gagnon and Stephane Brosseau are now tied for first.

QEORDC Leg 6 (3R Race 7)

Stephane Brosseau was the first driver to repeat in the Quebec/Eastern Ontario Regional, overcoming an overland journey from the outside post with the 1-9 favourite Gladiator S BG ($2.30). Parked through the opening half-mile, Brosseau made front with Gladiator S BG after the first lap and fought off all challengers for the 1:57.3 neck victory, keeping the Jacques Dupont-trained colt's sophomore record perfect in three starts. Nick Boyd and Jayport Lexus threathened late but settled for second while drifting out in the stretch. Robert Shepherd and Shanghaigold were third, 4-3/4 lengths behind. With the victory, Brosseau pulled out of a tie in the point standings to claim sole ownership of the top spot.

QEORDC Leg 7 (3R Race 8)

Pascal Berube returned to the winner's circle with 13-year-old pacing gelding Brodys Scrapper ($6.20) after prevailing from the pocket in the seventh leg in 1:55.3 for trainer David Pilon. Samuel Fillion had Mickeymaksomespeed firing from the outside post and cut across the track through the opening turn to take command over Brodys Scrapper. Hot on the leader's heels heading down the backstretch the second time, Berube pulled the right line and Brodys Scrapper forged ahead in the final turn en route to the 2-1/2-length victory. Race favourite G A Speed Joey and Robert Shepherd recovered from a break at the start and got up for second over Mickeymaksomespeed and Fillion. Stephane Brosseau maintained his position atop the leaderboard heading into the final leg of the Quebec/Eastern Ontario Regional with the competition close behind. 

QEORDC Leg 8 (3R Race 9)

Robert Shepherd hit the board multiple times throughout the competition and finally broke through with the Michel Allard-trained mare YS Sensationalcity ($6) in the $6,500 Preferred Pace, inheriting the win in the final leg after the favoured first-place finisher Greystone Watchman with Guy Gagnon was placed for causing interference. Greystone Watchman swept three-wide to take the lead after a contested opening quarter and started to get away from his foes down the backstretch the final time with the late-closers launching their attacks from the back. After a post eight start and racing overland in the backfield the entire mile, YS Sensationalcity rallied gamely for Shepherd to cross the wire in second in the 1:55.4 mile with Ladycorona and Stephane Brosseau closing for third and inheriting the runner-up honours when Greystone Watchman was placed back to third.

With their top performances in the final leg, point leader Brosseau clinched the Quebec/Eastern Ontario Regional Driving Championship title and Shepherd climbed to second.

Here is a look at the final leaderboard:

1. Stephane Brosseau - 67 points

2. Robert Shepherd - 65

3. Samuel Fillion - 55

4. Guy Gagnon - 54

5. Pascal Berube - 52

6. Nick Boyd - 50

7. Jimmy Gagnon - 17

8. Stephane Pouliot - 16

To view Sunday's complete harness racing entries, click the following link: Sunday Entries - Hippodrome 3R.


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)

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)

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.