On your marks, get set, GO! A dust storm blows back as the stampede clears from their stalls and races on the dirt track; the crowd of ten thousand people goes wild as they cheer for their favorite competitor. On the track, popcorn is thrown everywhere, and the slobbery monsters run their fastest for the treat at the finish line. Did you say slobbery monsters? Yes. Yes, I did. This isn’t horse racing, by the way; these are basset hounds—the most stubborn, heavy-boned, little-legged, giant-pawed dog breed racing. Ever heard of this? This is the Canterbury Minneapolis Basset Hound Race that occurs every summer.
About the Race
A total of 72 basset hounds race on this special day. Six heats of 12 run their fastest in front of ten thousand people. Well, they may not run the fastest or even make it to the finish line, but this dog breed sure is fun to watch. The unmindful breed wanders around the race track as they try to get to the other side with their owner. You may be wondering, what happens if your pup wins the race?
"The top dogs earn a spot in the Bark in the Park Championship Races on Labor Day, which will take place between live horse races throughout the day.” --SWNewsMedia
This race doesn’t have a prize for the winner nor a price for the application process, but surely a ton of treats will be given out during the time. The race is to give a fun break during the Canterbury horse races and add more joy to the day. To apply, visit the Canterbury Park website and write a short summary of your pup and your interest in the race; an email will be sent back next week to tell you if your basset hound got in.
Meet Lenny the Basset Hound
Now, why are you writing about this random race six hours away? You may be questioning. Well, my basset hound, Lenny, is racing on June 26th! Lenny is a one-year-old basset with tons of energy. Therefore, I believe he has a chance to win this race. Basset hounds have a lot of history coming from the hound family. They are used for hunting because of their fantastic scent of smell, but they make a great family dog. This short-legged breed loves to lounge and go on walks occasionally (they get to choose when the walk ends). This goofy breed controls its owner and determines what you will do. Even though they are stubborn, basset hounds love people and are great with kids! They can keep their energy up to play and are very easygoing. Back to Lenny, my family has had three basset hounds; we have never seen this amount of energy in one. Lenny is a good fit to run in this race. But first, there comes a lot of training for this breed to be able to run 50 meters without any distractions...
In the past, plenty of dogs wandered off the race track and had to be escorted out because they weren’t even close to making it to the other side. With basset hounds adoring people, being surrounded by thousands of people won’t help them stay focused on the race! I guess the race’s point is to have a good laugh, but I want Lenny to cross that finish line! Therefore training starts now. Three times a week, Lenny will be attending our local dog park in Eldridge; we will begin to build up his condition so he doesn’t strain a muscle during the race. I will hold Lenny, and my mom will sit 50 yards down, cheering him on to run to her. I will release Lenny, and we will repeat this practice often so he is immune to the distance. Lenny will hopefully run right to my mom and understand the assignment. This race will happen on June 26th; I hope you guys watch it on YouTube and cheer Lenny on!
Watch this video of the 2021 Basset Hound Race!