More than 10,000 people witnessed a true underdog story in South Dakota.
Biscuit, a “master barker,” earned a trophy full of dog bones after being the first dachshund to cross the finish line at the 12th annual Wiener Dog Races hosted by the Sioux Falls Stampede in the Denny Sanford Premier Center.
This was Biscuit’s third race — and the first time he’d ever crossed the finish line, said his owner, Melinda Kroeger.
“I think I’m still shaking,” Kroeger told the Argus Leader. “I was not expecting to win. I’m just speechless.”
The races have attracted a sold out crowd for the past five years. The game raised more than $12,000 for the Dakota Dachshund Rescue.
The Stampede even changed its team name to the “Fighting Wiener Dogs” for the night and sported jerseys for the event.
There’s just something inspiring about watching dachshunds sprint across the ice like ferocious, barking bullets with stubby legs. At least that’s what the sold out crowd thought.
Kroeger, who’s been a fan of the Stampede for years and watched the races each year, knew there was no other breed for her when she decided to adopt Biscuit almost three years ago.
“We got him for this purpose,” she said. Biscuit himself is a fan of the Stampede and enjoys listening to Stampede hockey on the radio, according to his biography.
This year was different for Biscuit, Kroeger said. He had a support team cheering for him all sporting “Team Biscuit” T-shirts, and Kroeger made sure his favorite toy would spur him to reach the finish line this year.
The Wiener Dog Race is Korey McDonald’s favorite game of the year.
“Whenever the schedule comes out, the first thing people ask is when the Wiener Dog Race game is,” said McDonald, director of sales for the Stampede.
The trophy filled with dog biscuits will be the centerpiece of Kroeger’s hockey memorabilia. But first, Biscuit will have to eat through his earnings.
“It will probably take him a while,” Kroeger said. “He’d like to eat all of them, but we’ll have to ration them out over a few days.”
Biscuit competed in the championship against three other dachshunds, including Bear, who earned third place in last year’s race. This year, Bear got fourth place because his leg got stuck in his jersey during the race.
But even though Bear didn’t win, his owner, Denise Schmidt, said the night wasn’t about winning.
“We do it to raise money for other dachshunds in the Dakota Dachshund Rescue,” Schmidt said. “Any place is good. It’s all for the dogs.”
But Bear will get a shot at redemption next year. Biscuit will work to earn gold a second year in a row as well.
“It’s for hockey, it’s for a good cause — and just why not?” Kroeger said.