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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Doxie Derby: Picnic Day tradition with big bark

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine hosts a family-friendly tradition with Dachshunds

It’s time to place your bets on your favorite sausage dog, because the Doxie Derby is back. Picnic Day is right around the corner, and while there are many events planned for the day, one of the most anticipated is the Doxie Derby.

This student organized event was first introduced in 1972 at UC Davis and featured many little dachshunds racing for the win. The event is put on by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) and is organized each year by the Vice-Presidents of the second year class. According to their website, “Judges and jumbotrons with instant replays will be present to determine who is the ‘fastest wiener’ in town!”

Peter Ellis, the Vice President Class of 2021 at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, is one of many who are involved in organizing the event. Other VP’s planning the event include Nicole Selk, Rama Ramakrishnan, Gabriella Lawrence, Bradley Whelchel, and Ferdie Gadiel Liard-Ramirez.

“[The Doxie Derby] has been around for more than 30 years and it is an event that is truly unique to the Davis community,” Ellis said. “Each year we have thousands of spectators and 40+ competitors.”

Participating in the contest last year, there were 13 miniature dachshunds, 25 standards and 5 mutts competing. This year, the number has increased. At Picnic Day, you can expect to see 17 minis, 23 standards, and 6 mutts competing.

In 2018, the overall winner was Benson Silva who is planning on returning again this year to defend his title. In 2016, the title was given to mini Pickles, and in 2017 claimed by Maxi Franck. After 2017, however, Franck put up the fuzzy racing boots and sadly retired. But this year, Franck is coming out of retirement and is preparing to compete.

“Preparation is up to each individual contestant, but one could say that each dog prepares his or her entire life for the glory that Doxie Derby encompasses,” Ellis said.

Davis’ veterinary department has certainly grown since it’s first class in 1948. Today, there are about 140 students in each of the four veterinary school classes. With one of the largest and most advanced veterinary training programs in the world, Davis is #1 in the nation according to the rankings of veterinary schools according to the US News and World Report. The Doxie Derby is one event that raises money to support the veterinary programs, according to Ellis.

Sponsors for the event include Purina and Banfield Pet Hospital, as well as Aggie Ally Sponsors: Vetoquinol and Nutramax. Additional sponsors include Royal Canin, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Merck, and Platinum Performance.

There are three esteemed judges from the SVM faculty. First is Dr. Stephen McSorley, the Director of the Center for Comparative Medicine. Dr. Sean Owens and Dr. Dori Borjesson, two professors of Clinical Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, are also among the judges who will be voting on the winning wiener.

Be sure to support our furry friends at Picnic Day during the Doxie Derby event and celebrate this ongoing tradition. It’s sure to be doggone cute!

Written by: Sierra Burgueno –– features@theaggie.org


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