She wasn’t the fastest, in fact she was the slowest by a country mile, but nonetheless, it was little Lulu who was crowned the crowd favourite by thousands of cheerings fans at the Fort Erie Race Track on Sunday.
“Lulu was the people’s champ,” said the dog’s owner, Cheryl Athoe, after the 4th annual Wiener Dog Day at the track. At 16-years-old, in a card of races dominated mostly by young one-year-old pups, Lulu decided to take her sweet time running the 25-yard race; much to the delight of the crowd. Long after the 11 other dogs in her race had crossed the finish line, Lulu trotted slow and steady between her two handlers, Cheryl and Rachel Athoe, while the audience cheered louder and louder as she neared the finish line.
“Being out there in front of that huge crowd, it was amazing,” said Cheryl. “So much fun. Our whole family was there in the crowd watching. It was a great experience.”
The title of fastest wiener dog was once again taken by Chico, who is now a three-time winner at Fort Erie Race Track’s wiener dog races. Participants and winners took home more than $4,000 worth of prizes which were generously donated by the event sponsors, The Pet Food Outlet in Welland, and Dave McMahon’s Dog Training Academy.
With nearly 10,000 in attendance to watch the dog races, the grandstands and trackside rail were both packed to capacity. Alongside the dog race fun, the track had a strong card of live horse racing, with on-track wagering topping $100,000 which is up 32 per cent over the previous year’s Wiener Dog Day, and also the second largest local handle of the season so far, behind only Father’s Day.
The Fort Erie Race Track season continues with live racing on most Mondays and Tuesdays. There’s still one special Sunday card left on August 13, for Basset Hound Day, when the dogs will once again hit the track for a day of family friendly fun.
To watch a replay of wiener dog races, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhR0-
For a full schedule of events, visit www.forterieracing.com