OLG Ontario Women’s Driving Championship Announced
The first day of the event will take place at Hanover Raceway on Saturday, July 17, followed by races at Dresden Raceway on Sunday, July 18. Each track will hold five races exclusively for the competition, with drivers earning points, depending on how they place, on an 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Drivers will donate their driving earnings to the Canadian Cancer Society (for Cervical Cancer) at Hanover Raceway and to Harness For Hope at Dresden Raceway. There will also be fundraising initiatives taking place at each track for their respective charities.
Eight Ontario drivers will be participating in the event, including Marie-Claude Auger, Natasha Day, Maggie Jones, Britt Kennedy, Andrea Leon and Julie Walker. There will also be two special guest drivers from other jurisdictions rounding out the field — if allowed under COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Hanover Raceway General Manager, Steve Fitzsimmons is very happy to introduce this initiative.
“This championship will put a spotlight and showcase many of the best female drivers in the province and give them a chance to compete for the Ontario title. Down the road, we hope to have stops at most race tracks in Ontario for this event. I’m thrilled that OLG has come on board as our title sponsor. They saw the value of this initiative from the start and we’re very happy to have them partnering with us. I also want to thank Jonathan Zammit and Ontario Racing for their strong support of this event,” said Fitzsimmons.
For OLG’s President and CEO, Duncan Hannay, supporting the Ontario Women’s Driving Championship is an important part of his organization’s ongoing commitment to the horse racing sector in Ontario.
“We’re proud to support Ontario’s horse racing industry and to be part of an event that showcases some of Ontario’s amazing women drivers. The Ontario Women’s Driving Championship will also help to draw more diverse fans to the sport, which aligns with OLG’s goal of promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion,” said Hannay.
Natasha Day, one of the participating drivers, is excited to be part of the event.
“I’m looking forward to showcasing our women drivers in Ontario and I’m proud to be a part of an incentive to get women out on the race track and give opportunities to those who may not get a chance otherwise,” said Day.
Dresden Raceway Track Announcer/Public Relations Director, Gary Patterson feels this event will be a must-watch competition.
“We’ll have many of the best Ontario female drivers, as well as a few special guest drivers. It will be a fun competition to watch and very competitive, as they try to win the Ontario title,” said Patterson.
Ontario Racing Executive Director, Jonathan Zammit feels this is an exciting event that fans and the industry alike will appreciate.
“Ontario Racing is very proud to be working with Hanover Raceway and Dresden Raceway on this exciting competition. Showcasing the outstanding drivers and horse people that compete in Ontario is something we are always interested in. Events like the OLG Ontario Women’s Driving Championship further solidify Ontario’s reputation as a premier racing destination,” commented Zammit.
Although the competitors will be donating their driving earnings to the respective charities, the event will have a $2,000 purse, with the prize money being awarded to the top five in the championship, on a 50-25-12-8-5 basis.