Wiener dog racing crowns top dog at Fair Grounds
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Fans from all across New Orleans gathered to watch 48 wiley wiener dogs vie for glory on March 4 at the annual Wiener Dog Racing at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. For just $5, dog and racing enthusiasts were able to experience the cutest event of the season.
Sunny weather and the smell of funnel cakes in the air set the tone for the day — high spirits and a relaxed crowd. Many attendees arrived in their Kentucky Derby best for the event, including a large crowd of Tulane students eager to try their hand at betting. Hundreds of children, parents and other community members filed in, hoping to catch a glimpse of the dachshunds.
Time was available for attendees to snap pictures of the competitors, which were being carried by their owners past the grandstands and onto the track. After posing for photos, owners lined their dogs up along a miniature starting gate as the announcer introduced each racer and their hobbies. Popular racers included the avid painter Salvador Doggy and social networking addict Scrappy Doo.
After introductions, a track official signaled to start the race and released the dogs onto the sandy race course. Some racers got caught up in the excitement and ran toward their cheering fans on the sidelines or played with one another in the middle of the track. Most dogs, however, bolted for the finish line, egged on by owners with their favorite squeaky toys.
The venue held four preliminary races and a final to crown the wiener dog racing champion. The course also held horse races between each wiener race for onlookers to bet on and enjoy. Each of the wiener dog races followed along the finishing stretch of the horse track and included twelve purebred dachshunds. The top three finishers from the preliminaries earned the chance to race for the championship.
At the end of the dachshund races, racer number 12, an expert squirrel chaser named Yatta, won the championship in a photo finish. The all-black dachshund, who barely edged out the competition, was met at the finish line with its owner’s loving embrace.
The Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots might have gone to the dogs, but it brought joy to everyone in attendance and allowed dozens of miniature dachshunds to compete for victory on the track.