Last summer, the first-ever Tampa Corgi Races were held at Tampa Bay Downs where 48 short, smiling Corgis scurried their little legs down (and around) a 25-yard dirt track. The dogs raced in heats of eight for the trophy and glory, but it was two-year-old Louie from St. Petersburg that outran the rest and earned the champion title.
With such a loveable breed of dog, a day at the races has never been cuter until now with the 2nd Annual Tampa Corgi Races on Saturday, June 30. This year brings even more Corgi cuteness to Tampa Bay Downs as 72 of the breed will be racing to the finish line and battling for the 2018 trophy.
If you’ve never seen Corgis run around before, it’s rather adorable. The head organizer of the event, Katie Vickery, explains the appeal of watching these small dogs race: “Corgis are like the court jesters of the dog world: they love being goofy while they work! The corgis get to choose if they want to run, chase, frap (fun, random acts of play), or just walk around staring at the spectators. It'll be cute no matter what!”
Vickery is also the leader of the Tampa Bay Corgi Meetup Group and has several Corgis of her own: Pembroke Welsh Corgis Bernie (11) and Basil (10) along with a Cardigan Welsh Corgi named Byron (7). The group wanted to host a Corgi race since seeing a video of Corgi races held at Canterbury Park in Minnesota, and Tampa Bay Downs helped make their dream become a reality with the first edition last year.
In addition to providing everyone a fun time, the Tampa Bay Corgi Meetup Group also uses this event to raise funds for Sunshine Corgi Rescue and other corgi rescue groups.
The 2nd Annual Tampa Corgi Races will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with races slated to begin at 7 p.m. Parking is free, and admission is $5 each while children 12 and under are admitted for free when accompanied by an adult. Pets are not allowed at this event as the track is not dog-friendly.
The Corgi races are a part of the Tampa Bay Downs Summer Festival of Racing, a two-day annual event that opens with the final card of the 91-day, 2017-2018 meeting followed the next day by the start of the 2018-2019 season. There will be a lot going on that Saturday, so make a day of it by getting to the track earlier for live horse racing, a live band, and a seafood festival.
Cover photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Downs