HISTORY OF THE FLORIDA WIENER DOG DERBY
Here’s a little background….
While living in Austin Texas, in September of 2007, Doug Dailey (the former President of Florida Wiener Dog Derby Inc.) was approached by his boss, and asked if he would be interested in a dachshund puppy that was in need of a home. Doug took the puppy home and fittingly named the puppy “Tex”, as he felt a Texan dog should have a Texan name, even if he wasn’t a Texan sized dog. Doug’s boss then suggested that he should enter Tex into the annual Wiener Dog race in Buda, Texas.
To Doug’s surprise when he and Tex arrived at the Buda Wiener Dog Race, they found that 700 dachshunds were entered and several thousand spectators were in attendance. Tex, who at the time of his first race was only 7 months old, managed to make it to the quarter final round. He was a natural from the beginning, and both Tex and Doug were hooked on wiener dog racing from that point.
Doug found the family atmosphere, along with the comical competition, something unique and special. Everyone at the race was happy, connected, and truly enjoying the event and the atmosphere.
In July of 2009, Doug returned to North Fort Myers, where he was raised, to care for his ailing father after the loss of his mother. During this time Doug heard of a small wiener dog race in Avon Park and decided to enter Tex. Members of the family decided to come along to see the race and what the big thrill about wiener dog racing was. After the family members saw the race they were taken in by the event, and for over a month that was all they wanted to talk about. A relative suggested that Doug should start his own race in the Fort Myers area. Doug agreed that he would, if the others would help in putting it together.
Doug got to work and along with his friend Dave Theiss started to scout locations to hold such an event. They decided to go to the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce for some assistance. They were directed by the Chamber to contact Donna Ellis, who at the time was the Marketing Manager for the Shell Factory. Donna met with Doug and Dave, and loved the idea and concept.
Donna said that in order to properly promote such a project, a name for the event was going to be needed. Doug suggested “Florida” to make it an event that would gain a larger base in which to draw from. Dave suggested “Wiener Dog” as this would distinguish it as a dachshund specific event. Donna suggested “Derby” as this would give it a racing title.
Thus the “Florida Wiener Dog Derby” was officially born. In only 90 days, the eight committee members along with Donna Ellis, managed to hold the largest first time Wiener Dog Race ever in the United States, with 262 racing dachshunds and over 3000 spectators!
Since that point, The Florida Wiener Dog Derby Inc. has run an exhibition race at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers for the Fort Myers Miracle Dog Daze promotion. It was the first time a true wiener dog race was held in a Florida Pro Sports Stadium.
The Florida Wiener Dog Derby Inc. also created “Dogtoberfest”, an event that was held in October of 2010 to bring attention to local animal organizations in need.
Florida Wiener Dog Derby Inc. has gone outside of the Southwest Florida area after being asked by the New River Methodist Church in Zephyrhills Florida to help in the organization of their initial “Hallowed Weener Festival”.
The Florida Wiener Dog Derby Inc. also consulted the Humane Society of Eastern Philadelphia in their organization of a wiener dog race in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Florida Wiener Dog Derby Inc. has appeared on Wagworld.com a website of the Purina Company . When asked about how the Purina Company knew about the Florida Wiener Dog Derby, the reporter commented, “My editor stated that this is a famous event and to make sure we cover it”.
In just its first year, The Florida Wiener Dog Derby Inc. has established a reputation as a dynamic organization. The Florida Wiener Dog Derby Inc. is also a member of the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce.
In 2015, the Derby was relocated to the Seminole County Fair in Sanford, Florida with the assistance of Roxie Team Hot Dog. The new venue holds unlimited growth potential for the derby as it is now combined with James E. Strates Shows in this annual tradition of family fun and recreation.
Karin & John Slifker, parents of 2014 FWDD Champion Roxie (Roxie Team Hotdog), are excited to present the relocated race and plan to include some fun non-race events for non racing wieners to participate.
Our theme for FWDD 8 will be:
THE FAST AND THE FABULOUS!
The event is planned for Saturday May 6, 2017 post time 1000 hours
Curtis Hixson Park in Beautiful Tampa, Florida
Registration is open!
This year, we are honored to be a part of Tampa RIVERFEST. This will be our largest event in FWDD history and quite possibly, the largest Dachshund Gathering in the State of Florida! Please come join us for a day of family fun!
We are proud to benefit FLORIDA DACHSHUND RESCUE with 100% of the proceeds going to help this amazing local dachshund rescue group we all know and love! We also proudly support Life With a Double Dapple Dachshund, an education group for those of us who have these dachshunds that are a result of BAD Breeding.
Come join us for a wiener of a good time that benefits Dachshund Rescue.
We are an all volunteer 501C3 fund raising organization
Karin Slifker, President
JP Slifker, Vice President & Media
Rose Peralta, Secretary, Registration, & SE Florida Events Coordinator
Doug Dailey, First Officer, Public Relations & SW Florida Events Coordinator
Terrance Werline, FOA & Board Member
KC Reimer, Treasurer, & Central/North Florida Events Coordinator
We have many volunteers and we always need more. Please click on the volunteer tab to be connected to our partner rescue and fill out an application. Thank You!