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Racing goes to the Weiner dogs at Leamington Raceway

A beautiful day of furry, fast-paced fun was had at the Leamington Raceway where the Lakeshore Horse Racing Association hosted the seventh annual Weiner Dog Races on Sunday.

Two-year-old “Bella” of Windsor took home the top prize along with owners Yvette and Tom Forsythe who entered their mini dachshund for the first time.

“We said ‘we have to do this,’” said Yvette Forsythe.

“It's her first time. She's a beautiful dog. Great family dog. She's the reason I come home at the end of the hard day's work.”

Winners Bella, Tom and Yvette Forsythe of Windsor at Leamington Raceway in Leamington, Ont. on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor)

“It's not something you see on a normal basis here,” explained track announcer Nathan Bain.

“It always gains a lot of traction and certainly the fans love it and like every week, it's a great atmosphere, of course this week, just a tad more special.”

“We have 10 races and then in between, you have these little wiener dogs running every which direction. So it's just something different for people. Usually what they're not used to seeing.”

Bain noted, “It just fills the grandstand and we have a lot of new fans and part of my job, I love like kind of talking to the people but the new fans and if we can get them interested in the races too, that would be excellent.”

“I would say this is our number one day,” explained Lynette Bain with Lakeshore Horse Racing Association.

The Lakeshore Horse Racing Association hosted the seventh annual Weiner Dog Races atLeamington Raceway in Leamington, Ont. on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor)

“I think the hilarity of it actually, is it's just absurd that you normally have these thousand pound animals, just gunning around the track and thundering hooves are so loud and then to have these pitter patter little tiny feet. But they only got 20 meters so we don't make them run around the whole half mile track.”

Bain told CTV News the event remains highly competitive, while horse racing officials continue to attract new spectators to the stands.

“There's a lot of competition for people's entertainment,” Bain said. “And we want to keep horse racing in southwestern Ontario relevant.”

“We want to keep young people interested and the whole face of horse racing has changed so much. We do fun events like this. There's so many more youth and so many more women involved. I mean, if you came to the races 20-25 years ago, you would really only mostly see horse men and the fans would be mostly men. Now it's a completely different story.”

Bain added, “Families, women, half of our trainers are women, and the groom’s last year leading trainer was a woman and we hosted a lady's driving championship. So events like this further reinforce that this is a new game.” Top Stories


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