Lonely Planet Writer

Hundreds of corgis compete for glory in Southern California

It’s Southern California and there’s no traditional connection to the British royal family, but a fascination with corgi dogs has prompted a unique event for the cattle-herding breed so beloved by the Queen of England.

Corgis prepare to race at the first annual SoCal Corgi Nationals.
Corgis prepare to race at the first annual SoCal Corgi Nationals. Image by Mark Ralston

Organised by a group called So Cal Corgi Nation (who describe themselves as a group of corgi enthusiasts and their low riding canine friends, led by Mr. Pickles the corgi), the first annual SoCal Corgi Nationals took place at Santa Anita on Sunday 27 May, and saw hundreds of corgis and their owners gathering for a fun-filled day of activities devoted to the dog breed. As well as races, the event also included corgi-centric vendors, food and drink, and carnival rides.

The event saw corgi enthusiasts travelling to Santa Anita Park for a fun-filled day of activities. Image by Mark Ralston

For anyone that missed the event, fear not, as the group gathers three times a year, in Spring, Summer and Fall, with the next event already planned for 23 June at Huntington Beach.

Called the “So Cal Beach Day”, it will be a free day full of meet-and-greets, doggie limbo contests, photo opportunities, giveaways, corgi costumes and talent competitions.

The popular event first began in 2012, with just 15 dogs, while last year’s affair attracted global media attention, over 1100 corgis, as well as attendees from all over the world. Since 2013, the event has partnered with a local corgi and corgi mix rescue, helping over 60 dogs since then, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to charity every year.

Rick Garcia celebrates with his Corgi dog 'Roi' after winning the SoCal 'Corgi Nationals' championship at the Santa Anita Horse Racetrack in Arcadia, California.
Rick Garcia celebrates with his Corgi dog ‘Roi’ after winning the SoCal ‘Corgi Nationals’ championship at the Santa Anita Horse Racetrack in Arcadia, California. Image by Mark Ralston

More information on upcoming events is available at the official So Cal Corgi Nation website.