Day at the races

Annual Wiener Dog Races features more dogs, greater age range

Oct. 18, 2017 - Twenty-four Dachshunds competed in the fifth annual famous Florence Wiener Dog Races during Oktoberfest at the Florence Events Center on Oct. 14.

The 2017 Grand Champion Racer was Riley, owned by Melinda Oliver.

“We had a great turnout this year,” said event organizer Jeanna Petersen. “This is our largest group of racers to date. The great weather we had brought out a few more people who may have not wanted to participate if their dog had to race in the rain.”

Petersen plans the Wiener Dog Races each year as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

As a “dog mother” to several of her own Dachshunds, Petersen saw the Florence Oktoberfest Community Celebration as an opportunity to honor the dog breed’s German heritage.

The dogs race in one of three categories: Puppies, up to 2 years old; Youth, from 2 to 5 years; and Adult, 6 years and older.

“The youngest racer this year was six months old, and our oldest was 13 years,” Petersen said.

In the Puppy category, first place went to Ursula, owned by Cindy Sherman. Second place went to Dungey, owned by Meesh Moore.

In the Youth category, first place went to Riley and second place went to Max, owned by Beth Herr.

In the Adult category, first place went to the 2016 Grand Champion, Gotti, owned by Alaura Little, and second place went to Holly, owned by Karen Buckmaster.

“We had all shapes, sizes and colors of wiener dogs this year,” Petersen said. “It’s always fun seeing them gathered into one area. And thank you to all that came out to watch!”