Forget greyhounds. If you want the epitome of racing dogs, you want a pooch with ground-hugging aerodynamics, a compact wheelbase, and heart-melting button eyes.
You want a corgi.
What these economy-size spitfires lack in speed, they make up for with adorable, tongue-lolling smiles and an equally adoring fanbase. No wonder, then, that Santa Anita racetrack last Sunday hosted the second annual Corgi Nationals.
Corgi racing isn’t limited to the Southland. These vertically challenged canines have similar events in Auburn, Washington, Shakopee, Minnesota, and Houston, Texas.
About 2,000 fans gathered at Santa Anita to watch the little competitors as they negotiated, with wildly disparate levels of success, a 125-foot, straight course. A maximum of 10 corgis dueled per race, with their human pets behind the finish line, waving treats, pom poms and favorite toys.
After a series of races on the infield grass to winnow down the contestants, 10 finalists faced off, cold nose to cold nose, on a course located on the main track, where thoroughbreds normally reign.
One of the finalists sported the fearsome name of Shortstack Wiggle Butt. Shortstack hails from Porterville, where his owner, Tiffany Jensen, has a cattle ranch.
“I feel amazing! I’m literally about to cry,” Jensen said to the Christian Science Monitor about reaching the last race.
Did Shortstack prevail? No. Was anyone saddened by this? C’mon … corgis!