15th Annual Sioux Falls Wiener Dog Race Sees Upset Winner

Forty frisky dogs gave it their all on the ice Saturday night, but one rushed to its owner a little faster.

The “wiener” for the 15th Annual Weiner Dog Race at the Denny Sanford Premier Center was a dachshund named Kuzco.

“He’s obsessed with these (bright yellow tennis balls) – we never lose eye contact when he’s looking at them,” said owner Dylan Waldner of Sioux Falls.

Kuzco’s win was something of a shock, after two years of dominance by fellow top four contender Letty. Her owner, Malary Anderson, brought another dog with her this year, Mia. But she hoped Letty would win easily, “She got it.”

But she was beaten by a hair.

After going through the first 40-dog race, a second heat of the first four dogs determined the winner.

Peanut took fourth place. Biscuit took third place. Letty, the 2020 and 2021 winner, took second place.

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Other dogs competing included Dymond Blu, a lithe and fierce young pup who traveled from Emmetsburg, Iowa, with his owner Chloe Waters, for the race.

“I fell in love with hockey and saw this event. It’s just too much fun,” said Dymond Blu co-owner Cindy Meyerdirk.

The Wiener Dog Run is an annual fundraiser for the Dakota Dachshund Rescue and was held between periods during Saturday night’s Sioux Falls Stampede game. In recent years, the team has gone so far as to change its name for the night to Sioux Falls Fighting Wiener Dogs. It seemed to work, as the human Wiener Dogs scored multiple goals against the Omaha Lancers to win 6-1.

The money raised from ticket sales couldn’t come at a better time for the nonprofit, said Diane Wade, owner and founder of the rescue.

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“We’ve grown a lot with COVID, unfortunately,” Wade. “The breeders produced a lot, then people got back to work. We have many dogs that need foster families. And we need adoption.

Wade expects this year’s event to raise thousands of dollars for the rescue, which helps adopt the dachshund and other small breed dogs.

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