Michael Brown didn’t expect his dog to make it to the finish line Saturday.
Reptar, a 2-year-old Chiweenie, had never run a race before but managed to clinch third place while running in a dinosaur costume.
Brown brought his dog to Gainesville’s first Halloweener Derby Day, a fundraiser to raise money for local foundation Climb for Cancer. As of press time, the amount of money has yet to be determined.
"I’m shocked, I didn’t think our little guy had it in him, to be honest," Brown said. "The first race was a little confusing, but he got the hang of it after that — he did pretty well."
The event’s race, organized for dachshunds in Halloween costumes, was held in Kanapaha Veterans Memorial Park.
"My favorite part of the day was watching the smiles on people’s faces," said Ron Farb, the Climb for Cancer co-founder. "Certainly raising money is the most important goal, but to just see people having a good time, that’s the icing on the cake."
He organized the event after attending a similar dachshund race in Destin, Florida.
"It’s so funny because they’re so clueless," said Stephanie Oliveria, who brought her two dogs, Daphne and Bruno, and dressed them both as dinosaurs. "They come out and they just sniff and sniff and once they notice their owner, it could be another two minutes later — it’s hilarious."
"The dogs don’t seem to care what they wear, but they’re workin’ it," she said.
Reptar, a 1-year-old Chi Weenie, placed third in the Halloweener Derby at Kanapaha Veterans Memorial Park on Oct. 17, 2015. His owner, Swamp Restaurant manager Michael Brown, said Reptar had never raced before. “He did surprisingly well,” Brown said. “Honestly, I did not expect him to make it to the finish line.”