Who’ll be the Top Dog? Let’s Check out the Annual Corgi Winter Nationals
By Brittney Strong
Southern California is a vibrant and diverse region that hosts a wide range of festivals, events and competitions throughout the year. Among the many types of events held in this region, horse racing has a rich history dating back to the 1930s. Southern California is home to a very prestigious racetrack called Santa Anita Park which hosts many horse racing events throughout the year. Aside from the Santa Anita Derby, the popular racetrack also hosts a number of other events including the annual Corgi Winter Nationals. It should be no surprise that a race for the corgi breed is annually held in Southern California, the entertainment hub of the world.
The Corgi Winter Nationals, debuting in 2018, is an event that contains a hundred corgi’s but only one can be the winner. This year there were over eight hundred applicants for the one hundred spots. The competition kicks off in the morning with ten heats occurring every twenty minutes. The corgis must race a total of one hundred twenty-five feet. Much like horse racing, there are starting barriers that are numbered and contain the ten competitors in their numbered jerseys. The dogs await in the stalls until the announcer says start and the gates glide open prompting these fluffy puppies to dash down to the finish line. The top two dogs from each heat move on to the semifinals, where they compete on the main track for a chance to advance to the finals and compete for the championship. The first-place winner receives a trophy and bragging rights, while second and third place get ribbons.
Image by: Brittney Strong
It was quite a turnout as thousands of people attended this event with their family, friends and very own corgis. The surrounding area of the provisional track was a field of grass where people sat in foldable chairs or on picnic blankets brought from home and were able to unwind, relax and enjoy the festivities with loved ones. There were numerous food trucks and vendors selling food, dog treats and corgi merchandise. People from around the country were in attendance to this event, all in good fun. Unlike horse or greyhound racing (a very popular dog racing competition) the Corgi Nationals is far less competitive. What sets it apart most is that this is a non-gambling event and some of the profit gathered is set to go directly to charity afterwards. The fee that contestants paid for their corgi’s entry into the race went to a nonprofit organization called Queen's Best Stumpy Dog Rescue that concentrates on special needs corgis. All of these qualities are what makes this such a perfect place for family fun. Don’t worry if you missed out on this cool winter tournament because there’s also one in the summer. Whether you’re a huge dog lover or a fan of competition, this is a great place to be so I hope to see you at the Corgi Nationals this May!