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Ontarian harness racing driver captures 2024 Canadian driving championship

MacDonald, 3 times Canada’s top standardbred driver, finished the 8-race event with 66 points

Harness racing driver James MacDonald of Guelph, Ont. captured the Canadian driving championship Friday night.

MacDonald, three times Canada’s top standardbred driver, finished the eight-race event at the Hippodrome 3R with 66 points. Tyler Borth of Ingersoll, Ont., and Robert Shepherd of Mirabel, Que., both registered 53 points but Borth took second spot as he had more first-place finishes.

MacDonald, the 2017 world driving champion, will represent Canada at the ‘25 global championship in New Zealand.

MacDonald, 38, earned the bulk of his points through his first five drives as he won three and was second in another to accumulate 55 points. His victories came with Rec Time (1:57.4; $2.10) in the second race, Bonfire Bash (2:00; $3.30) in the fourth leg and American Zestar (1:56.1; $2.70) in the fifth.

“It’s the best,” said MacDonald. “I’m just so thrilled I get to go to New Zealand and wear the red and white.

“I love my blue and yellow (MacDonald’s traditional colours in his driving suit) but there’s nothing better than a whole country cheering for you.”

The Canadian Press