James MacDonald will represent Canada at harness racing's upcoming 2017 world driving championships, replacing the suspended Brandon Campbell.
Campbell received a $4,000 fine and suspension through Jan. 31, 2018, from Standardbred Canada when a horse he trained tested positive for banned substances.
MacDonald, a 31-year-old Charlottetown native now living in Guelph, Ont., finished second to Campbell in qualifying for the world event, which will take place at racetracks around Canada from Aug. 12-18.
MacDonald stands among the top five drivers in Canada with $1.79 million earned, and has 95 wins this season.
"It means a lot, obviously," MacDonald said in a statement. "I would've liked if it had happened on different terms but I'm really excited, I can't wait to wear the red and white and to compete all across Canada.
"I'm just happy to be here, especially with the last leg being in P.E.I. It's a big deal for me. I haven't been home in three years. I get to see some friends and family and I'm sure there will be a big turnout rooting for me."
The first leg begins Aug. 12 at Century Downs Racetrack in Balzac, Alta. The others are scheduled for Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ont. (Aug. 14), Georgian Downs in Innisfil, Ont. (Aug. 15.), Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivieres, Que., (Aug. 16) and Prince Edward Island and Red Shores Racetrack in Charlottetown (Aug. 18).
The Canadian Press