Running With Love

Dog races cap a fun exhibitor party at the 2017 Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championships.

Dexter ran with love, his owner says.

Laura Owen of Roanoke, Virginia, had been in Raleigh, North Carolina, for a show the previous weekend, so she stayed a few extra days to support friends competing at the Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championships at the Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex.

She decided to enter her faithful canine companion, Dexter, in the dog races, using no tools or props such as favorite toys or treats.

“He’s a mama’s boy,” Laura said. “It’s love and devotion – and a little bit of obsession.”
As the winner of his heat and then the overall winner of the dog races, sponsored by Nutrena, Laura received two sacks of Nutrena dog food plus assorted dog accessories.

After the dog races, exhibitors at Nutrena East enjoyed a party with fried chicken and fixings. It was a good time for all at the show.

Laura won Level 1 amateur ranch riding in 2016 on Three Turns And Run and has done well since, so she has her eyes on the 2017 Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show.

“He’s an old-school ranch horse, big feet, big ears,” she says. “He’s really solid. His mom is a barrel horse, and he’s not fast at all.”

Ranch riding is “Dante’s” event, Laura says.

“He’s a cute little hunt seat mover, but he’s 15 hands – too small,” Laura says. “He’s too fast for pleasure. They came out with ranch and I said, ‘This is it, buddy.’”