Meet the Fastest Corgi in Maryland

Gavin holds Zoey, the winner of the second annual Maryland Corgi Cup. 

On a sunny October afternoon in Maryland, 12 furry, short-legged corgis raced 50 yards. The tiny dogs were finalists in the second annual Maryland Corgi Cup. The Corgi Cup took place on October 22 at the Maryland 5 Star equestrian (horseback riding) event at Fair Hill. 

This year, nearly 100 corgis were registered in the competition. Tens of thousands of people came to watch the races, which took place on a turf field near the grandstand.

After preliminary races in the morning, the 12 fastest corgis were selected for the final heat. Defending champion Zoey crossed the finish line first.

“My favorite part about the Maryland Corgi Cup is getting all the extra people to come to the horse show and experience everything that we love to do here,” said Nicki Carson, Zoey’s owner.


Eleven-year-old Shane K. of Pennsylvania holds Bunny, who was declared the “Youngest Corgi 2023” winner.



After the event, I interviewed a fan of finalist Bunny, who was declared the “Youngest Corgi 2023” winner. Shane K., 11, and his family had traveled to the Corgi Cup from their home in Pennsylvania to see Bunny compete. “My favorite part of the race is seeing the dogs run because of their little legs,” said Shane, whose neighbor owns Bunny.

The Corgi Cup is held just for fun. But it’s part of an elite equestrian competition, the Maryland 5 Star, which is one of only seven 5-star equestrian competitions in the world and one of only two such events in the United States. Described as an “equestrian triathlon,” the event includes competitions in dressage (horse training), cross country, and show jumping. The best equestrians from around the world compete for the top honors.

“Horse racing is very serious,” Karen Bowersox, program director for Maryland 5 Star, told me. “There’s a lot of money involved.” 

The fun, light-hearted corgi races are designed to draw additional fans to the equestrian event. “The Cup is benefiting the horsing community,” Bowersox said. “But,” she added with a laugh, “the Corgi Cup is complete chaos.”


Gavin learns more about the Maryland Corgi Cup from Karen Bowersox, program director at Fair Hill. 

Photos courtesy of the author