While the rest of the sporting world was focused on the great Olympics in Tokyo, a devoted throng gathered in late July for the annual Corgi Races at Emerald Downs in Auburn, Wash., which aired on ESPN on Saturday. That’s right: ESPN aired a video of a corgi race, and bemused sports fans took to social media to express their confusion, but ultimately delight.
The family-friendly tournament debuted in 2017 and was such a success that Emerald Downs decided to make it an annual event. While all entries receive stuff, only the best 12 compete in the championship race, with only one spirited little corgi runner taking home the trophy.
The event, which was resurrected after a pandemic hiatus in 2020, began with a corgi parade—nearly 70 of the short-legged competitors in total. While only the corgis with tails were able to wag their tails with delight, it looks that all of the dogs were delighted to show off!
The championship race is then followed by six heats. Foxy Roxy. Meeko. Outlands Willow Wisp. Butterbean. Mr. Beanz Sir Wiggle Butt. Sir Wiggle B Beckham, Fonzworth Gravy.
These and other herding marvels—some of them had been practicing with their coaches for a few weeks with short sprints and extended runs—uh, pet parents, wasted no time once they hit the dirt track. Angus, the 2019 corgi race winner, was eager to defend his title.
Outlands Willow Wisp was an early front-runner. After the first heat, enticed by a special stuffed toy waved in front of her by owner Lauren Kuperstein, who later explained in an interview “She never gets to play with it because she enjoys ripping it apart. So I just pulled it out for this because I knew she’d enjoy it.”
Lisa Duval, the owner of Foxy Roxy, topped off three years of preparation for the race with a little water and whipped cream performance enhancement.
We could tell you who won the championship race, but that would ruin the excitement of seeing the entire event and going behind the scenes with the cavorting corgis! This is, without a doubt, the best 11 minutes of your life.