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Wiener takes all

12-year-old Molly (left) recovers with her sister Bella, 9, after the two dachshunds finish their race Saturday in which Molly took second in the finals and first in her heat, while Bella came in fourth.

Some Dachshunds were born to run. Just ask three-time winner Little Tica, who dominated Saturday’s race at the Campbell County Fair.

The 3-year-old dappled mini dachshund was enjoying a bacon treat post run with owner, 10-year-old McKenzie Buckner. Tica won the year prior at fair as well along with taking second place at a race in Deadwood earlier this year.

For whatever reasons, Tica’s little legs and straight shot down the roughly 25-foot course was enough for an easy win.

First-place winners McKenzie Buckner and Little Tica celebrate their victory at Saturday’s Dachshund race at the Campbell County Fair.

McKenzie and Tica do a lot of practicing together, the 10-year-old said, which might account for Tica’s solid win. Along with winning a couple ribbons, the mini dachshund will also be taking home an overnight travel complete with pop-up bowls and extra compartments for her food and toys, donated courtesy of Animal Medical Center.

“It was a solid win,” McKenzie with a big smile as Little Tica seemed to fall asleep in her arms, tired from all the exertion. The little wiener dog has been competing since she was seven to eight weeks old and seems to be a natural, apart from her resounding loss at her first run in Lander.

Another long-time champion, 12-year-old Molly, panted in the sun as she attempted to find shade between the legs of her owners Emma and John Loftus and their daughter Molly. Molly, who has won several first place ribbons throughout her lengthy racing career, took second behind Little Tica after winning first in her heat. Her sister, 9-year-old dachshund Bella, didn’t do as well.

“She seemed really confused,” Emma laughed, though Bella did take fourth in Saturday’s race.

It turns out that the dog’s ability is only a part of what it takes to nab a win, Emma said. The races require one person to hold the wiener dog at the starting line and the other to retrieve them at the end.

Her husband John has since been fired from holder position after releasing the little dogs too late. Olivia stepped in this year to take over the role and did incredibly well, her mom said.

You have to hold them tight and know exactly when to let go, she said. The retriever, on the other hand, has to keep them focused by waiving their treats. And despite Molly getting distracted by another retriever’s treat, she nonetheless was able to redirect and squeak out a second-place win.

As retriever, Emma has also mastered the practice of getting her little dogs riled up. Right before the race, she took off Molly’s collar and shook it as she headed down the grass to the finish line.

“It’s my teasing technique,” Emma said. “It gets her riled up. A little jingle and whoop whoop.”