Pig races popular at Gregg County Fair

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - With the Gregg County Fair in full swing, that means you can check out a fan-favorite event. It is a racing phenomenon that brings "thoroughbreds" of a sort to the racetrack.

Aside from the cute and cuddly animals at the fair petting zoo there is another group of highly trained racers: pigs.

"They're always popular here at the Gregg County Fair," said Nathan Tidwell, with Show Me Safari Petting Zoo and Pig Races. "I don't know what it is. I've asked myself that for 18 years, why anybody would watch a pig running around a track."

They are the "formula one" of porcine glory.

"They are the thoroughbreds of swine racing," said Tidwell. "They go through various weeks of training."

They run one time per day, but its all out! What are the stellar athletes after? Is it trophies, adulation of the crowd, money? No. It is an iced cookie. How do you know you have a champion race pig?

"If their ears are standing straight up, they're a good racing pig," said Tidwell. "They'll burn that track up."

So do you race and exploit any other domestic animals?

"There ain't nothing funny about this," said Tidwell. "The pigs mean business."

They blaze the track at nearly three miles per hour.

"We've got a bloodline at home that we use just for racing," said Tidwell. "Is there a betting line on the pigs right now? No, you have to bet between yourselves."

Some are born to run.

"He gets the whole cookie and the other ones get the crumbs," said Tidwell. "It's just like life."

You can watch the pigs race each evening at the Gregg County Fair. Remember, no official betting is allowed.

The fair opens at 6 o'clock on week-nights and at noon on Saturday.

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