#5 Mr. Schnitzel stars to make his move on Tootsie with #4 Riley looming
After posting a game second place finish in the 2011 championship, there was no denying Luis and Lois Hernandez's Mr. Schnitzel of Newbury Park (above) in the 17th annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals in front of a crowd of over 10,500 on Saturday at Los Alamitos Race Course.
The 3-year-old chocolate colored dachshund posted the race of his life in the 50-yard finale, as he passed Laura Scully's quick weenie Tootsie while also holding off a huge late surge by Brittany Hayes' Riley to win the $1,000 cash prize and the title of "Fastest Wiener in the West." Mr. Schnitzel will now compete in the national finals to be held in San Diego later this year.
A total of 88 dachshunds competed in this year's event which helps raise money for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center. This year's event helped raise approximately $20,000 through the sale of event tickets, t-shirts and hats. This event has now raised close to $250,000 for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center since 1996.
Mr. Schnitzel will get all the spoils of being a champion according to his owners.
"We'll probably make him filet mignon and a 12 pack of weenies for dinner," said Luis Hernandez with a smile. "We might even get him a sports car and a trip to Hawaii we are so happy right now."
Luis and Lois Hernandez with Mr. Schnitzel
Riley was the doxie that Luis and his wife, Lois, feared the most going into the final.
"When we first started watching wiener races in Huntington Beach, Riley was winning a lot of races," Lois said. "When we saw that Mr. Schnitzel was facing him in the final, we were nervous. We knew that he was going to be very tough to beat."
Mr. Schnitzel had the goods to be champion on this night. Tootsie left the starting gate sharply from post seven, but Mr. Schnitzel took command with about 10 yards to go after leaving the gate from post five. Riley would have probably won if the race had been 60 yards.
"We actually found out that Mr. Schnitzel and Riley are related because they come from the same breeder," Lois Hernandez added. "When you look at them together, the two of them do look alike. There are very fast genes in that family of dachshunds."
Luis Hernandez is a project manager at Health Net, while Lois works in marketing at Xerox.
"It's amazing that Mr. Schnitzel won," Lois added. "When he crossed the wire I had to look at the Wienerschnitzel mascot (The Delicious One) to see if we had won. When he gave me the thumbs up I was elated."
"We've only raced him about six to seven times," Luis said. "He just loves to run."
Brittany Hayes' Riley of Huntington Beach earned $500 for running second. Also qualifying to the championship race were Lisa and Maurice Chevalier's Truffle from Costa Mesa, Ellen Dusch's Chloe of Mission Viejo, Kevin and Caprina Hodge's Chloe of Northridge, Jennifer and Ken Yandoli's Kaia of Glendale, Lori Ottoson's Oodles of Noodles of Riverside, Vicki Hayes' Bella of Santa Ana and Richy Taylor's Sammi of Los Angeles.
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