WHEATLAND - The Wheatland Country Store was the site of the 2022 Bunny Belmont rabbit race that this year had eight thoroughbreds running for the roses.
The Race was set up in the parking lot of the Wheatland County Store at the “Central Perk” bunny drag strip.
The bunnies were split into two heats where the top two competitors from each heat would compete for the coveted Belmont Bunny trophy that was awarded by Wheatland Store general manager Mandy McIntosh.
Prior to the race was the FFA calcutta orchestrated by Wheatland FFA adviser Brice McIntosh who auctioned off spots where the top money moguls could own a rabbit for the race.
“About five years ago I had this idea to race these rabbits,” Mandy McIntosh said. “I was trying to bring customers into the store and race the rabbits at the end of the month with random bunny names at all the bottoms of the receipts. If that bunny wins, you can bring that receipt back in to get back half of your purchase price that you paid.”
This was the sixth annual Belmont and although COVID shut it down in 2020, the customers were back in droves for the event in 2021 and there was standing room only trackside this year. Although the rabbits were a little chilly and didn’t want to race, a well-timed whisk was used to help the rabbits along and eventually the races were run and after the dust cleared, Wendy stood alone as the 2022 champion.
“We had 2 heats with the top 2 placers making it back to the finals,” McIntosh said. “Coming back for the finals was Kyle, Mr Garrison, Cartman and Wendy. But Wendy came away the Champion of our sixth Annual Bunny Belmont. We had a calcutta before the race for people to bet on who they thought would win. We paid 3 places in the calcutta. Some of the proceeds from the calcutta went to the Jr High FFA chapter. The High School and Jr High FFA chapters helped with the race and were the Bunny jockeys. All throughout the month of April there were random bunny names at the bottom of all receipts from purchases at the store . If Wendy was on their receipts, customers can bring that receipt back into the store for half their money back on that purchase, in the form of a gift card, up to $75.”