Weiner Dogs Race at Denver’s Oktoberfest

Dozens of dachshunds brought short legs, long ears and high hopes to Denver’s Oktoberfest on Sunday to participate in a weiner dog race, the first “Long Dog Derby.”

Pooches with names like “Daisy the destroyer,” “Lightning Lilly,” “Black Pearl” and “Frank the Tank,” sometimes dashed, and occasionally wandered in dazed confusion, across a fenced race track.

Daisy May, a 6-month-old brown dachshund with a sharp snout and gentle eyes, sped through her paces, in the “Little Links” event for puppies under one year.

The dog had never raced before, but she wasn’t thrown off by the crowd and hoopla, said Daisy May’s owner, Loreli Walker, 29, a Denver nurse. “They have such personality,” she said of the breed. “They think they are pretty big dogs when they’re not.”

More than 60 dogs were signed up for the races in six categories, including “hot dog carts” for handicapped dachshunds.

The event was part of Oktoberfest on Larimer Street, an annual festival that has welcomed the fall season in Denver since 1969. Proceeds from the $15 dog-race registration fee went to Colorado dachshund Rescue.

Two people accompanied each racer, one to release the dog at the starting line and one to encourage and catch the animal at the finish line.

The event included a costume contest, won by “Oscar Mayer Weiner,” a 6-year-old miniature long-haired dachshund, who was dressed as a skunk.

“He has been wearing it for Halloween for the last two or three years; he doesn’t object, he is a good sport,” said Tracy Alvarez, 46, Oscar’s owner.
Steve Ballas, owner of Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs, a hot dog stand that was a race sponsor, said the event was so successful that next year it will be a stand-alone event. “We had no idea how many weiner dogs there are in Denver,” he added.

[Source: The Denver Post]