Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Day at the Races

I stumbled upon this intriguing event while searching things to do in Alice Springs.  It seemed like something worth-while to visit, so I decided I'd stay a bit longer so I could see some camel racing in person.  After riding a camel for a few minutes the day before I certainly had a lot of appreciation for the "discomfort" that is riding a running camel.  The races started at noon and they had a free shuttle from the city centre to the track (and back), so that was really nice.  In between the actual races they had plenty of action, including rickshaw races (people-powered teams of 4, with two sitting and two pulling, that had to switch halfway), a fashion competition, and kids races on stick camels.  Oddly enough, the woman that won Miss Camel Cup 2014 was from the USA.

One of the more comical races was the Honeymoon Handicap.  The camels start as in a normal race (sitting down) – however half way around the track, the camel (and new husband aboard) must stop and pick up their new brides and then proceed to the finish. One poor fellow couldn't get his camel to stop, and since he didn't pick up his bride ended up disqualified.

The money from the event all goes to charity and it all started back in the 70's as a way to solve a friendly dispute.  It was such a hit that they've been racing ever since.

A quote from a camel jockey: "Life was grand. I was in front. I was screaming. I was happy.  And then the camel stopped like a shopping cart and turned  left...but at 35 miles an hour I just kept going."

Feel free to learn more about this fun event by visiting their website:

No comments:

Post a Comment