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Basset Hound Racing Is About To Become Your New Favorite Sport.

Some stiff competition lies ahead when Canterbury Park hosts this weekend’s annual Labor Day races… and we’re not just talking about horses.

Horse racing is a year-round event at this renown arena in Shakopee, Minnesota, but it’s also home to the annual Bark in the Park Championship Races, which will be held on Monday. That’s nothing new, but a special Battle of the Breeds is being held this year, which means all sorts of breeds have been duking it out during the last few weeks to get a chance to compete. Qualifying races have already been held for bulldogs, corgis and dachshunds, so it only stands to reason basset hounds would be the next in line.

basset dumbo ears

If Dumbo could do it, so can I!

Those qualifiers were held on August 18, and they were about as adorable as you’d think, because with several exceptions, these contenders were more interested in following their sniffers than getting to the finish line. Just picture 72 basset hounds, all dressed in their jerseys, separated into six different heats, taking their sweet time to get to the finish line with a flustered announcer, their handlers and more than 10,000 spectators cheering them on. Need we say more?

basset hounds at gate

These guys and gals look like they’re serious about winning this heat and taking their place among the champions. But when the announcer shouts, “Go!” only three surge toward the finish line, leaving the rest to eat their dust. One makes a beeline toward a group of people gathered behind the railing, probably checking to see if they have any treats they might like to share, while the rest hang back just checking out the scene.

And look at this Saucy Nugget! Saucy Nugget is on here cruising. It’s Saucy Nugget of course!


We have our first place winner, followed by second and third! But what about fourth? Where is everybody, anyway?!

C’mon, basset hounds, we need you to finish the race! It’s not nap time. Fourth place is on the line. Who’s going to get it? Henry on in the inside, outside comes Banjo, and now Banjo’s distracted! And it’s still Henry, slowly but surely, grinding his way. The dream comes true! Henry scores!

Henry’s not quite as enthusiastic, but that’s okay, the announcer has enough for both of them.

I’ve never been so tired in my life. I’m going to go lay down on that patch of grass. Wake me up when it’s time to go home.

henry places fourth

Heat 2: These bassets are much more focused. So focused, in fact, that there may need to be a run-off. No riots were reported, but still, we don’t envy the job ahead for these judges.

It’s a photo finish!


Heat 3: As expected, a couple bassets take this thing seriously while the rest… eh. And they’re neck-to-neck for a millisecond or two there, until one gets distracted by a scent trail someone left over there, giving Belle a clear win!

And Belle is surrrrging to control! Look at Belle go! She looks like Secretariat, a fine-tuned machine!


The second and third place winners take their time getting across the finish line, but fourth is a little trickier. George has it in the bag, but when #3 gives him the stink eye, he tucks tail and runs, effectively handing fourth to Rosie. He’s had a crush on her anyway, so maybe she’ll join him later for some milk bones and snuggles.


Heat 4: This one was a real nail biter, lemme tell you. It was the most serious out of all the heats thus far and spectators were on the edge of their seats, watching as their favorites inched closer and closer to the finish line!

basset races heat 4

I can’t split them, I can not split them! Four dogs, eight ears, all at the wire together. I have literally no idea who won, but Rufus was charging from the back of the pack.


We’re clearly not qualified to judge, but first and second places are pretty easy to name from the footage above. But what did the judges decide? Watch the video to find out, as well as the results of the final two heats.

Share to spread love for these adorable bassets, and wish them luck at Monday’s races!

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