The intense sport of horseracing is something worth discovering. Guy Gagnon, a 49-year-old driver, is a champion who has made a mark in the horseracing industry. Brought up in Quebec, he now calls Rideau Carleton Raceway his home – the racetrack where he received most of his victories.
Guy Gagnon discovered just how thrilling horseracing could be at age 14. He started his career in Quebec City, managing to get in the sulky only 4 years later. Nothing has stopped him since.
In the course of his prolific career, he has achieved many accomplishments, such as winning the Eastern Ontario / Quebec Regional Driving Championship 4 times, one of which was this past June at Kawartha Downs. This assured him a chance to race for the National Driving Championship where he will attempt to win the chance to represent Canada at the World Championship, happening in Sweden of 2019.
“I thank God everyday not to have had any accidents and to still be in good health”, said Gagnon. “I love what I do and it remains a true passion for me. It’s extraordinary to make a living while doing what I love.”
The driver has represented the area in multiple tournaments across the country, despite the many hardships that the sport has suffered over the past few years. With the Quebec tracks closing, Gagnon was forced to find a new home for his passion, which he found in Rideau Carleton Raceway. He was able to shine in Ottawa and grow his business, while still racing, training and owning horses.
Gagnon’s career in horseracing is not slowing down anytime soon. Gagnon celebrated his 5,000th victory this season at the Three-Rivers Racetrack this season – a feat not so easily achieved.
Harness Racing has a long history in the National Capital Region. When Rideau Carleton Raceway opened in 1962, it was history in the making. For more than 55 years, the racetrack continues to attract harness racing fans and to foster a solid horse racing community.
In 2017, Rideau Carleton Raceway – in partnership with Hard Rock – won the bid to operate the Ottawa casino. The renovations to the properties are almost complete. In the works are a completely new gaming floor, the addition of new table games, and the opening of multiple food amenities such as the YouYu noodle bar, the Constant Grind Bistro and the Rendez-Vous bar on the casino floor itself. Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino has also installed state-of-the-art slots, now being the first in Canada with this latest technology.
With an expansion project of over $390 million, Hard Rock Ottawa plans to build an additional casino floor, a hotel, a concert venue, and additional restaurants, including a steakhouse and the famous Hard Rock Café.
The improvements will not stop there! The racetrack will also improve the experience for horseracing fans with the addition of a new tote board and the renovation of the tarmac and mainline.
The investment to improve the horse racing experience is only the first step to a prosperous industry. Rideau Carleton Raceway wishes to invite the community to come and experience first-hand the thrill of horse racing for many generations to come.