2019 Florida Corgi Races
Updated: Jul 3, 2019
The horses take second billing to the days kings of the track
(Note: Full Photo-Feature at end of article)
Corgi dogs seem to have an innate ability to make people smile. But this tough little dog is a working breed and a popular pet. So given the opportunity to show the big dogs (or Horses even) how its done, they rose to the occasion for the 2019 Corgi Races at the Tampa Bay Downs race track this week.
Folk lore says Corgis were a gift of the woodland fairies and their markings were left by those harnesses and saddles.
In its third year, the Florida Corgi “Derby” draws a huge audience for the 80+ competitors and the ever growing event is completely managed by volunteers of the Sunshine Corgi Rescue, Tampa Corgi Meetup Group and others who just want to help with a good cause for the vertically challenged, but very capable canines.
When local Tampa Corgi Meetup group member Katie Vickery started the event, she had no idea the monster it would become overnight and this year Sunshine Corgi Rescue president Joe Cavanaugh stepped in to take the reins.
As simple as it sounds, the event started with a simple request of the Tampa Bay Downs track if they would be interested in hosting the event. TBD Director of Publicity Margo Flynn said yes, and furthermore the track makes donations to help support the local rescues as well as providing all the amenities of the track for the event. Probably one of the most unique is the large Jumbo screen coverage and playback of the races in front of thousands who come to watch in the stands, while the tracks professional announcer “calls” the race with the seriousness of a triple crown.
We be small but mighty
This year saw over 80 dogs compete and a growing list of sponsors jumped on board to show their support. Events like this are brilliant examples of what can be accomplished with some imagination and will power. It helps both dog and man. The Corgis affable image is an immediate draw and a popular breed with many of our veterans too. The small dogs are fiercely loyal, tough and full of character. Perfect partners for any mission.
As with so many of the more recognizable breeds, Corgis’ tend to be one that find their way to needing help of services like the Sunshine Corgi Rescue frequently. They do not judge those who are unfortunate to have to surrender their Bad Azz Corgi’s and work diligently to care for each and everyone on a path to a forever home.
The famous as companions to Queen Elizabeth II of England, the dogs are a working breed of stock dog and used on farms today.
As with all rescues, they are always in need to financial support, but foster homes are extremely important. If you have space for some serious Corgi love in your home and can help, get in touch via their web page.
AKC describes the Pembroke Corgi
"Among the most agreeable of all small housedogs, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a strong, athletic, and lively little herder who is affectionate and companionable without being needy. They are one the world’s most popular herding breeds."
Are you ready to rumble
This is a truly “just for fun” event. There is no national title on the line and the whole idea is to have fun and promote these fearless track racers breed. That said, a little “rubbing” on the track was common and some of the pups weren’t too sure which way was forward on the relatively massive horse track. With busy stands crowd cheered and laughed as the spectacle unfolded.
Accompanied by truly brilliant professional race announcing by Tampa Bay Downs professional race announcer. Plenty of shade, water and fans were provided and a list of eager standbys ready to go for those pups who didn’t want to feel the heat on a very hot Florida afternoon.
With races being a matter of seconds and straight into the showers and pools waiting track side, none of the sturdy racers seem bothered.
Fives races let to the championship pole and local boy “Bandit” from Oldsmar took home the trophy for the 2019 Corgi Races. His mom and dad, Tom and Robin Hunter even took him out for a steak dinner to celebrate!
Old Dogs get to play too
With old age we all lose a step, so the Corgi Races have a special one time, winner take all trophy for senior dogs, and this year’s winner was 9 year old Piper from Orlando who bright along their humans Ian and Christie Forbes to cheer them on.
Big events usually mean big overheads and cost to even entertain. The Tampa Corgi Races defy that logic with good hearts in the right place. From local clubs and shelters to the Tampa Bay Downs track itself all joining to give a little bit to help a little dog be great!
The Corgi is a low maintenance but "go getter" breed and the Sunshine Corgi Rescue may have the best friend you ever had waiting for you.
Had a bad day? This will fix that... 2019 Corgi Race
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Sunday June 30th 2019 Tampa Bay Downs
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