And This Little Piggy Ran…

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Bearcreek, Montana

My first night in Montana was one that I was looking forward to most because I heard I would be going to see pig races.

While I grew up in a small town and I believe there was a 4H club there I have never been to a pig race or seen a pig run.

To hear this was an established event in Montana was just as exotic as going to another country. I had so many questions like, how did they decide to race pigs? what makes them run? what happens to the loser?

Don’t worry, this is not the porky Hunger Games

It turns out this is for a scholarship fund for the kids who raise these pigs. Youth learn how to raise the animals and each one of the kids is awarded a scholarship for college.

racing pig

It’s actually ingenious as there isn’t much going on in the town and you can buy drinks as you watch the pigs run laps. So even though it’s a bit of a tourist event, the restaurant and bar are also filled with locals.

Pigs run surprisingly fast.

It’s kind of like watching dogs. When we first get there they seem so lazy and I cannot imagine they will ever actually run but once they get them lined up they run so quickly that at times all four feet are off the ground.

pigs sleeping

The best part of it all are the names of the pigs: Justa Weiner, Raquel Belch, Arnold Schwartnhogar, Porkahonus, Barbie Q and much more.

Seriously how could you not love this? 

I didn’t win any money, it turns out I have no idea which pig would win the amazing race. But I felt okay knowing my twenty bucks was going to a good cause.

After the races we went for dinner at the restaurant adjacent to the ring, they thoughtfully do not serve pork.

Disclosure: I was a guest of the Montana Office of Tourism, they did not ask that I write a favourable review or cheer so loudly for Bruce Pigsteen.

Join the Conversation

  1. I love the names! So what makes the pigs run?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I think they believe food is on the other side. Honestly they were so lazy in the beginning I never thought they would run.

  2. Matthew Karsten says:

    What place did Bruce Pigsteen come in? I hope you ate him after losing $20… good cause or not. πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You don`t get to eat the losers, which is okay with me because that would be a bit morbid.

  3. Chrystal McKay says:

    Yeah, I totally would of bet on Bruce Pigsteen too! What a great name and what a fun event. Now what would I name my pig? hmm…

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It`s a tough one. Maybe porkchop?

  4. Zara @ Backpack ME says:

    Did they serve pork in the restaurant at the races?!
    Please say NO, please say NO..

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Nope only steak and bison, even I couldn`t eat pork after the races.

  5. Meg | One Love Meg says:

    I love pigs! I would have one as a pet if they weren’t so smelly. I’ve never been to a pig race but I might have to check them out.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Watching them beforehand stick their nose in the dirt and eat it made me realize they aren`t the cleanest animal.

  6. How did they get the pigs to run at all — let alone in some sort of straight line for a race!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      They did a lap and I think they believe they are running for food. Why else would any animal run?

  7. Camels & Chocolate says:

    STOP. You can go to pig races in Montana? Why did I not know about this when I was there last summer???

    Funny, I almost drove a half an hour in San Diego this spring with some of my ship kids to go see goldfish races at a bar, ha–something tells me pigs would be a little more riveting =)

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Goldfish can race?

  8. Emily in Chile says:

    This looks hilarious! Sounds like a fun night, and I’m glad that they losers aren’t turned into bacon.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Especially knowing the children raise them. That would be a very upsetting night for losers.

  9. True story: I participated in a charity pig race in high school. Not AS A PIG, but as someone who ran along and smacked the pigs on the butt to keep them going. Classy.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      That is hilarious, these pigs didn`t need to be smacked, I think they`ve done it many times.

    2. Agness (@Agnesstramp) says:

      You comment made me laugh haha:)

  10. This. Is. Awesome!

    You need to come to Ohio. We have tractors that square dance here.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      What?? How does that work?

  11. Leslie (Downtown Traveler) says:

    Aw so cute! As long as they didn’t use any inhumane tricks to get them to run, I’m down with this πŸ™‚ PS- I love the name “Arnold Schwartnhogar” πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I think they just run because they are fed in the end, it`s run by 4H kids so the pigs are treated really well.

  12. A Cook Not Mad (Nat) says:

    Too cute, I’d be into that.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I thought you would be πŸ™‚

  13. I’ve actually seen pig races at state fairs in upstate New York… they are definitely a hoot!

    I spent a lot of time in Montana in my teens and saw a real live rodeo there… It was amazing!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I am going to a rodeo and it will be my first, I am SO excited.

  14. I’d love to go see a pig race… when I was a kid the pigs used to race too but away from us…

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I didn`t even know people raced pigs, but I guess you can race any animals – maybe not cats, they never do anything you want.

  15. This is such a cute story! I love the cause and I love the idea. What happens to the pigs when the kids cannot look after them anymore though?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It`s called bacon…

  16. I have to admit I’d never heard about this before. SO cool!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Neither had I but it lives up to expectation.

  17. Wait, whaaaa?! Haha, how do they even get the pigs to run?! Cute names, though. πŸ˜‰

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Any animal will run if it thinks food is on the other side!

  18. Caanan @ No Vacation Required says:

    You better be careful posting pictures of adorable tired piggies, you may just undermine the whole premise of your blog. πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      No way they are more delicious than they are cute.

  19. Stephanie - The Travel Chica says:

    Glad you’re discovering some of the quirkiness that makes the US so interesting. I’ve never thought pigs were cute before, but your photos are adorable.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      What about Wilbur from Charlotte`s Web? He was pretty cute and I`m sure very tasty…

  20. Ha ha, this is cute and certainly off the beaten path. I love how money goes towards providing scholarships to young people!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I know, it`s a great way for the community to get together and such a good cause.

  21. I grew up in a small farming community and while almost everyhone I knew was involved in 4H and had a cow, I’ve never head of Pig Races, sounds like fun! Glad to hear that pork wasn’t served afterwards.

  22. Haha, right up your alley! This would be a fun day out =)

  23. Ohhh, I was supposed to go see this last time I was in Montana and it didn’t work out! Too many family members to coordinate. Now I REALLY wish I’d gone. So excited to read all your Montana articles. I’ve been looking forward to them getting posted since you mentioned on Twitter you were going. I didn’t grow up there, but I have lots of relatives there and it’s like home to me.

  24. Piggies! It is like the weenie dog races!

  25. Agness (@Agnesstramp) says:

    Awwwww the pigs are so cute!! I didn’t know they participate in races. Are they treated good at least?

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