08/23/2017 3:18PM

Macedonio: Much happens on the World Driving Championship bus

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Ryan Macedonio
Lots of fun on the World Driving Championship bus.

I have no clue what's going on during the World Trotting Conference in Prince Edward Island this week. There are a lot of important people from the industry converging onto a tiny island in Canada to discuss all aspects of harness racing. It's what needs to be done, formally and officially. But more is getting done on the tour bus of the World Driving Championship!

Eleven nations, 40-plus people, together for 7-plus days! Add in everyone from each track that we’re visiting and we represent all aspects of the industry and the WORLD of Harness Racing. Old, young, drivers, trainers, owners, fans, mums, breeders, presidents, media, mates, punters, and sons. I can go on and on.

The point is that we're all together on this trip and we're all interacting and learning in a competitive, professional, but relaxed and friendly environment. I've learned so much about the subcultures of countries and their own version of Harness Racing! We all share ideas and learn from each other. There is no arguing or debate. No allegiances, no agendas. All of us sharing ideas and bonding.

These people I have met on this journey will be friends for life now. It's that simple. I've been to many conferences in and out of Harness Racing and what I see is allegiances, cliques and very little interaction with someone you don't know. Sure it's a handshake and a nod, but nothing gets discussed.

I had dinner with Mika Forss, breakfast with Erik Hoitomt and drinks with Dexter Dunn, Shane Graham, and James MacDonald. Three different friendly environments to discuss Harness Racing and they all worked SO much better than a formal setting or a formal dinner. You don't learn from formal settings because everyone's guard is up. It’s the physical guard of a fancy suit and tie plus the mental guard of "I have to be on my best behavior".

Go and have breakfast with someone you don't really know and very quickly, the guard is broken. The real person comes out and that's where the magic happens. I propose from now on that all meetings are done over breakfast and/or in a pub; never again in a conference hall or hotel banquet room. There will be more unity among everyone and the facades will disappear. We need the World Trotting Conference to finalize ideas. We need the World Driving Championship to create them.

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