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Racing pigs sprint for their prize: Oreo cookies

NEW HAVEN — For the second year running, Addison County Fair and Field Days attendees have the chance to take in a competitive athletic spectacle that tends to turn some heads: Robinson’s Racing Pigs, who made their Field Days debut last year, are back for more.
Robinson’s Racing Pigs are pint-sized porkers with names like “Taylor Not-So-Swift” and “Kim Kardashi-pig,” who are trained to race around a 150-foot track that features a 15-foot long pool of water. County fairs, like Field Days, are their time to shine.
What makes the pigs move so speedily? Oreos, according to Robinson’s Racing Pigs’ director Randy Ross, which are placed strategically at the track’s finish line.
“The races are all based on an award system using sugar,” Ross said. “Pigs love sweets and they especially love the Oreos.”
As the faces behind the Florida-based operation, Randy Ross and his wife Sharon travel the country year-round visiting county and state fairs with their speedy baby porkers. Randy has worked with Robinson’s Racing Pigs since the business was established in 1984 and remembers the company as the first original pig-racing outfit around. As the years went on Robinson’s Racing Pigs’ reputation grew. The pigs were even featured on shows like Good Morning America and ABC News.
The Rosses take pride in heading the enterprise that they claim is the pioneering pig-racing company in the U.S. “Back 30 years ago when we started doing this it was unique, and people had never heard of pig racing before,” Randy Ross said. “We were the originators of the traveling pig racers. Now, there are probably 30 other pig racers out there.”
It is also a full-time job for the couple.
“This is what we do,” Randy Ross said. “We’re on the road about 10 months out of the year.”
PIGS SWIM THROUGH the water hazard during a Robinson’s Racing Pigs race at Field Days Tuesday.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell
Randy Ross said that he prefers smaller county fairs like Field Days to the larger state events because of the small-town feel they have and the appreciation residents of places like Addison County have for agriculture and farm animals.
“The people love the pigs here,” he said. “When people think of pigs they think of dumb, lazy animals that lay around on the farm all day. And when they come out here and see the pigs doing this, it’s something different.”
Field Days attendees can watch the pig races throughout the week at 12:00, 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. each day (the first show on Thursday will be at 12:30 rather than 12:00). If you’re there, don’t miss the fun.
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