"There's nothing like winning a horse race....When you line up behind the gate and you come by the finish line first, it doesn't matter if it's a big race. It's a good feeling."
Gilles Barrieau is set to join some rare company later this year in the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame. The 'Maritime Magic Man' will join Earle Avery, Jim Doherty and his uncle Rufin Barrieau as the only individuals from the harness racing industry inducted in the N.B. Sports Hall of Fame, with the ceremony slated for June 10, 2023 in Miramichi.
In an interview that aired Thursday (March 23) on Rogers TV's Across The Line, Barrieau reflected on his early inspirations and that decisions that helped forge his path into harness racing and a career choice that has paid off handsomely.
"I can remember when I was six years old, I was helping my father at the barn...going there every night after school and I started jogging horses when I was seven or eight. It just took off from there."
Barrieau has won more than 5,000 races as a driver and more than 1,234 races as a trainer, with total purse winnings of over $10 million and $3.7 million, respectively. He's won multiple O'Brien Awards of Horsemanship and represented Canada in the World Driving Championship in 2007.
"It's been a tremendous career, really. To be all over the place, and being wanted by trainers to drive their horses, I can't say enough about [it]."
The feature on Barrieau is available below.