Book release: Wally: Driven to Win

By Gary MacDougall

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Retromedia Publishing will release Wally: Driven to Win, a book by author Gary MacDougall, in June.

Wally: Driven to Win reveals the story of PEI harness racing ambassador Walter “Wally” Hennessey. The story is divided into several themes, starting with young Wally as a backstretch kid and moving on through PEI to the paddock, the starting gate, the quarter pole, the half mile, jockeying for position, the stretch run, the glory years, the Gold Cup glories, the winner’s circle, and finally, the finish line.

In his writing, MacDougall has expressed how passion, dedication and hard work paid off for Hennessey. The multiple Hall of Famer, who has well over 10,000 wins, is still driving today, with winters in Florida and summers in New York—close to five decades after he chalked up his first victory with Cambridge Frisco as an 18-year-old at the Charlottetown Driving Park. He’s driven many other standardbreds since, including Americas Pastime, Fannies Champ, Cambest, Gallo Blue Chip, Driven To Win and Moni Maker, one of the world’s greatest harness race horses of all time.

This 232-page book also contains a special foreword by Wally’s daughter, Kristy Hennessey; quotes from his siblings and friends in the industry; black and white photographs including some from award-winning photographers Ann MacNeill, Dave Landry and Sylvain Gagnon; and mini-chapters from sponsors who helped make publishing this book possible, including the Government of PEI,  Woodmere Farms, Tara Hills Stud, Lindy Farms, Isle Casino Pompano Racing Park, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, NY Sire Stakes and Preferred Equine.

Lee Drake, Red Shores manager of racing, brands and broadcast, and Nicole MacPherson, marketing consultant, will co-host the book launch for Wally Driven to Win on June 23 at Red Shores Charlottetown’s Top of the Park restaurant. Reservations can be made by calling 620-4264. Space is limited. The book launch will be live streamed at from 7–9 pm and Wally Hennessey will be the virtual guest of honour.

Wally: Driven to Win can be purchased at the event, as well as online at,, at Bookmark and Indigo in Charlottetown, and at Coles in Summerside.

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