Rancho Luna Lobos win American Dog Derby to secure Ambassadors trophy

ASHTON, Idaho — The Rancho Luna Lobos, Park City’s local family owned and operated kennel and professional dog racing team, placed first and won the historic Open Class American Dog Derby this past weekend to secure the Ambassadors trophy.

Fernando Ramirez hoists the Ambassadors trophy after winning the American Dog Derby.
Fernando Ramirez hoists the Ambassadors trophy after winning the American Dog Derby. Photo: Rancho Luna Lobos.

Dating back to 1917, the American Dog Derby has been a staple of dog racing for over a century. Once a World Championship race, Mushers have come from far and wide to participate in the event.

In its early days, a train would transport hundreds of people and dogs to compete and take in the festivities. While the race has certainly evolved over the years, a winning tradition has remained the same as each and every Champions name has been etched on the trophy, including Fernando Ramirez and the Rancho Luna Lobos.

After participating in the World Championship competition in Laconia, NH, the Lobos arrived in Ashton just hours before the race.

“Our dogs had several days off since the last race and we thought this would be a fun shake out run for the team,” Ramirez said. “The pups were so excited to run! We were happy to see all of their training and fitness really pay off.”

After a clear first day of racing, the second presented somewhat of a challenge as the Lobos lead dog, Sheldon, started to struggle due to the heat around the final eight-mile mark. Instead of panicking and giving up the lead, Ramirez placed him inside his bag and the rest of the dogs carried them home for the victory.

“It is a true honor to have our name added to such a historic group of mushers. Even more meaningful for us, to be the first Hispanic musher to win this amazing award,” Ramirez said.

In addition to their historic victory, their sons Gabriel and Noah placed third and fifth in the Jr. race. Noah was awarded the sportsmanship award for conceding a potential victory and helping another musher who had lost his team.

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