By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport
SCENE & HEARD: What’s not to love about the gallant lineup of wiener dogs who partake year after year in one of the most crowd-pleasing events on record at Hastings Racecourse?
This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of the dachshunds invading the sacred territory normally reserved for the thoroughbreds, who don’t seem to be annoyed by the occasional interruption when one of the wee wieners wanders close enough to risk confrontation.
Over the past decade the wiener dogs have provided some of the cheesiest media coverage ever associated with Hastings and to avoid any embarrassment by naming names, here are some examples of what’s appeared in print:
July 15, 2010 – “A top prize awaits this year’s champion who appears in the wiener’s circle with the understanding one wiener takes all.”
July 14, 2011 – “Track announcer Dan Jukich is once again ready to repeat those immortal words: ‘Ladies & gentlemen, start your wieners!’”
July 9, 2012 – “A weenie touch of puppy love returns to Hastings with the darling dachshunds back in action.”
July 10, 2014 – “Official starter and Wiener Warden Joe Gray has introduced a new rule. Owners are now required to clean up should their wiener dog become nervous and have an accident on the tarmac before the race or on the track itself. Gray says he will be watching every, uh, movement.”
July 10, 2016 – “Some of these weenies are too old to cut the mustard. They will never ketch up.”
It’s enough to make you want to gag yourself with your racing program.
Over the years, though, racing fans have fallen head-over-hoofs with these stubby-legged rascals named Oscar Mayer, Cecil the Sausage, Boris and Abigail Lambourgweeni.
And who can ever forget four-time champion Joey from North Vancouver who was forced into retirement after bulking up a bit and slowing down to the point where he’s had to settle for watching the races on Youtube.
It’s been said that the highest form of a compliment is imitation. With that thought in mind, check out the ongoing promotion at Emerald Downs tagged “Wiener Dog Wannabes”. It allows all other breeds and mixed breeds to race against the wiener dogs, providing they weigh less than 20 pounds with a maximum height of 20 inches at the shoulder.
Bulldog and Corgi owners take note.