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Born To Run (And Oink)

Pig racers are coming to the Arlington County Fair.

<b>SECRETARIATS</b> they’re not.

<p>But the noble swine who participate in the annual pig races at the Arlington County Fair – tiny, pink piglets with names like Frankenswine, Pigfoot and Kevin Bacon – regularly draw huge crowds and generate tons of excitement.

<p>However, this may be the final year that the County Fair will feature pig racing. According to Denise Marshall Roller, the chief coordinator of the Fair, the County will probably be looking to bring in some new programming for next year.

<p>“We’re trying to do more and more programming that is reflective of Arlington County,” she said. “Arlington County is not an agricultural county. The racing of the pigs reflected programming that reflected agriculture.”

<p>With the future of pig racing in doubt, The Arlington Connection spoke with Dave Feimster, the owner of F & F Productions. Feimster goes from town to town and county to county racing pigs at local events.

<p>In the interview, Feimster spoke about why pigs are natural born racers and also handicapped this year’s pig races for those who may be gambling-inclined.

<p><b>How long have you been racing pigs at the Arlington County Fair?</b>

<p>I think it’s been going close to ten years down there. We’ve been doing pig races at fairs and festivals here in the northeast for a while.

<p><b>How did you get involved in pig racing?</b>

<p>Pig racing was 12 years ago. We did skunk races before pig races. We were racing actual skunks. But they’ve been retired for three years … I’ve been in some form of this all my life. In the wintertime I teach and in the summer time I’ve worked on fairs and festivals all my life.

<p><b>What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen during a pig race?</b>

<p>Some of the people are a little nutty at times. But I think everything’s just kind of normal.

<p><b>What is it about pigs that makes them such good racers?</b>

<p>One, they’re extremely intelligent. They’re easy to train. Also, they are fast. They’re fast little animals. If you train them to get some food they’re going to get that food. We can train the pigs in about a week.

<p><b>Who was last year’s champion pig? Do you think there’s a chance that he could repeat?</b>

<p>You’ve gotta understand, this is not like horse racing. We use little piggies. It’s not like there’s a championship pig. We just use a group of little pigs. When they get bigger we send them back to the farm and get other little pigs. These pigs are about 12 weeks old.

<p><b>Theoretically, if one were thinking of wagering on one of the pigs, which one would you recommend betting on?</b>

<p>The one with the curly tail. <i>(Laughs)</i> Let’s go with 4-1 odds on that one.