A four-time Gold Cup & Saucer winner ended up in the hospital this weekend following a scary harness racing crash at Charlottetown's Red Shores Race Track & Casino.
New Brunswick native Gilles Barrieau, driving Island Beach Boy, was thrown backwards while he was fending off a late challenge in the 12th race of Saturday's card. He was then run over by the horse that was right behind him.
"[Island Beach Boy] was sent to the front, and as they reached the 3/4 pole near the end of the race, there was another horse on the side, No Plan Intended," said Lee Drake, manager of racing and broadcast at Red Shores.
"They were battling and things seemed to be a little tight. Something happened. It was a bit of a miscue and Gilles was thrown from the race bike down to the race track."
Drake said Barrieau was "hit pretty hard." Though Barrieau returned to the paddock, he later went to the hospital to be checked out.
"He seemed pretty good, but he obviously booked off his drive for the rest of the night, which was only one race left," Drake said. "But, you know, he was shaken up. Of course you would be.... It's a very scary situation."
Barrieau, a Hall of Fame inductee in Moncton and Saint John, is considered one of the best drivers in P.E.I.
'A lot of questions'
Drake said that many people were wondering after the accident whether Barrieau would be able to compete in this year's Gold Cup & Saucer.
The deadline for nominations for the race series is Monday with the first trial next Saturday. Drake said the 12th race was viewed as preparation for the series since many horses expected to enter were participating.
"[There are] a lot of questions right now, [but] our main concern is health and the well-being," Drake said.
Both horses involved in the collision, Island Beach Boy and Lovemyrockinbird, are in fine health.
The race was declared a no-contest by the racing officials.