"There's not a ride like it at the fair," according to the emcee at the 17th annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals, held at the Kern County Fairgrounds. About 90 dogs ran Saturday, coaxed to the finish line with laser pointers, squeaky toys, treats and, of course, lots of encouragement.
Some dogs, like Frenchy and Chico, had team shirts for their supporters, and three-legged Bandit was cheered on by a crowd of dozens to cross the finish line (although he didn't win his race).
One of the 12 heats had to be run twice when all the dogs scattered off the sides and start of the race course, but the contest eventually came down to eight dogs vying for victory -- Chico, Frankfurter, The Wien, Samwell, Boss 302, Maximus, Shelby Cobra and Frenchy.
But there could only be one winner, and Boss 302 took the top prize of $250 and an all-expenses-paid trip to the national finals in San Diego in December. Boss 302 was coached by Danielle Porcho and Regan Rostain, teaching buddies from Lakeside School who also competed with Shelby Cobra and Gran Torino.
"She's never won anything," Porcho said of Boss 302, who has raced in other competitions, including in Huntington Beach.
So what was the winning secret to get her dog to the finish line first? A concoction of Vienna sausages, said Porcho, who said she has also used cat food as an enticement.