It was a rare July evening in Southern California on July 18, 2015.
It rained cats and dogs in most of the Southland on that summer night, but at Los Alamitos Race Course is poured dogs and more dogs at the 20th annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals. Eighty-six dachshunds competed in the annual races to raise funds for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center and in the end Josh and Brittany Snook’s Finn sank his competition in the championship race to win the title of Fastest Wiener In the West in front of an estimated crowd of 7,000.
Representing the city of Lawndale, located in the South Bay region of the Greater Los Angeles Area, Finn finished powerfully in the 50-yard final, rallying from way back to catch early leaders Katniss and Molly before holding off the fast closing Camilla Blu to win the final and the $1,000 cash prize that goes with first place. Finn also won a doghouse in the shape of a classic A-Frame Wienerschnitzel restaurant, championship trophy and blanket, and a berth in the national championship race at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
Only 2 ½ years old, Finn’s reason for running is his love for a multicolored beach-ball that awaits him at the finish line. The longhaired strawberry cream doxie was dominant in the third of 10 trials, running like a rocket after his beach ball.
“The moment he sees that beach ball he goes crazy and wants to get it,” said Josh Snook. “We used to have a smaller ball that he would go crazy over. He loves to run and he loves balls. He is a slow starter when he runs, but he is a strong finisher. That’s why his name in Finn, as in finisher. We just enjoy supporting the Seal Beach Animal Care Center and we plan to donate some of our winnings to the Seal Beach Center. We’ll use some of the money to decorate Finn’s new doghouse.”
Over the years, the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals at Los Alamitos Race Course has raised nearly $250,000 for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center, a non-killed shelter dedicated to finding new forever homes for lost and abandoned animals in the Orange County area.
Owned by Sonia Reynoso of Baldwin Park, the female doxie Camilla Blu earned $500 for rallying to finish second. Camilla Blu also started slowly before her valiant late run. The rest of the field in the championship race featured Dana and Steve Knitz’s Katniss of Mission Viejo, Lori Ortiz’s Maximus of La Mirada, Denise Meisner’s Ezri of San Diego, Julia Janov’s Molly of Redondo Beach, Marc Govenor’s Nikita of Redondo Beach, Leanne McCaslin’s Sadie of Garden Grove, Rachel Schmid’s Jimmy of La Mirada, and Trina Taylor’s Mia of Buena Park.
The event also feature a Big vs. Tiny dachshund race and for the second straight year the smaller of the two doxies won the race. Linda Camisaca’s 7 pound dynamo Wilma of Bellflower outwitted Kelly Lopez’s Beefy of Walnut. In a race featured three wiener dog racing legends, 2009 Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals champion Presley defeated a pair of Long Beach doxies, last year’s Big vs. Tiny winner and former Wiener Nationals finalist Tootsie and 2013 champion Buddy Black.