About 8,500 people (!) came out to watch the 2018 Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals on July 21st, 2018. It was an electrifying atmosphere, and my first time experiencing a huge event to watch little Dachshunds compete for the title of "Fastest Wiener in the West."
It's also a fun family-friendly event with lots of adults and children alike enjoying the race
But not only is the competition for glory, pride, prestige, bragging rights, fame, and entertainment -- it's also a huge fundraising event for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center. Over the years, the Wiener Nationals have raised over $260,000 for the Care Center.
If you looked closely at the photographs above, this trial race looked like it was a competition between two Dachschunds, but then #6 came out of nowhere to take the W.
Now then. Let's meet some of our fierce competitors!
Lots of beautiful little faces! 105 Dachschunds showed up to race. I didn't capture them all, but hopefully you'll get a glimpse of all the little legs that came.
There were 11 Wiener Dog Races that day. Here's some photographs on the race track:
This little one coming up is Dora, and I want to give her a special spotlight here. She's the oldest racer of the bunch, and the all-time record holder for most appearances in the Wiener Nationals.
"Dora might not finish first, but she always finishes the race," according to the race program.
What a sweet face! We love you, Dora!
In the following set of photographs, you may notice some dogs don't look exactly like Dachshunds. That's because there was an Invitational for non-Dachshund owners to show off their own racing dogs!
For some races, as soon as the gate opened, the contestants just decided to greet each other:
While others didn't know exactly what to do:
Oh! I forgot to show you the grand prize for the winner! It's the big Wienerschnitzel dog house there!
This dog above, Meow Meow, is the first ever Canadian wiener dog to participate.
MILA AND EZRI
Sometimes, you don't recognize when you're in the presence of celebrities. When I met Mila and Ezri, I had no idea I would get to meet a couple of movie stars with impressive resumes. They've been in three movies, several modeling and commercial gigs, many dachshund races, and are extremely well-trained with nearly two pages worth of tricks and stunts, and they also fight crime on the weekends. You can learn more about them here at www.milamiesner.com, and Mila's IMDB page.
Okay, it's getting dark, so let's head back to the race track.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP RACE
We're finally here! The championship race! The race for the gold.
Perhaps you noticed there was one speedy Dachshund who quickly pulled ahead of everyone else!
That young athlete is Baby Bo, and the now two-time, defending champion of the 2018 Wiener Nationals!
He's only two-years-old, and won the 2017 Wiener Nationals coming from behind. In the photograph above, you can see him on the right side just way ahead of the finish line and already slowed down to a casual trot, while the others were barely crossing.
"He's still a frisbee fanatic," his owner, Katherine, said.
After the race, I made a beeline to get some portraits of the Winner of the 2018 Wiener Nationals!
Baby Bo's entourage insisted I get a photo of Baby Bo with a photo of Baby Bo.
And there's the rest of the winning circle! All contestants who made it to the final race got to be in the final photo of the day. Congratulations, everyone!
And there's me with the Winner of the 2018 Wiener Nationals, Baby Bo!
Photo credit: to my wife, Leanna Lee.
This event was so much fun, and I hope I was able to share the experience with you to make it feel like you were there. If you want to participate in the next event, you can find more information about the races here.
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As some of you already know, I volunteer my photography experience for the dogs at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center to help them get adopted. This whole event was to benefit this one and only non-kill animal shelter in Orange County. If you're looking for a furever furriend to join your family, consider the beautiful faces there. You can visit their website at www.sbacc.org.
If you're a dog-parent, and want to take your iPhone dog photos to the next level, I created a free Email Course just for you, How to Take Better Pictures of Your Dog on Your iPhone: An Email Course in 7 Lessons.
LA • Orange County • Southern California
p.s. If you're the proud owner of any of these contestants, and are interested in purchasing prints of your little athletes, get in touch -- Email me at email@example.com