Thursday, March 22, 2012

Camel Racing... The Blog :)

My father has a friend that wanted him to come out to see his racing camels at his camel camp, and then the races. He wants him to give him some advice because he wants his camels to start winning because here in Qatar they give amazing prizes, as well as prize money!

I took photos with a better camera and I hope to upload them all some how in a slide show format because Instagram doesn't capture ALL the excitement. Basically, we went to some training type races for the 1 year old female camels. There were 17 races in about an hour and half. In ordered for this to happen a race started every 3 minutes. The camels line up on the other side of the gate and the just keep on going forward. There really isn't a limit on how many camels can be in one race because the gate is nothing like a horse racing gate (as you can see in the photos below).

The camels used to be ridden by small boys but because of the ill treatment (I will not go into detail), and the amount of illegal boys there were, the camels are now ridden by a box robot with a whip. The trainers follow alongside the race in their cars pressing a button to control the whip when needed. Some even put a walkie-talkie on the camel and scream into their walkie-talkie to tell the camel to "yallah, go, YALLAH, run!" They say that the camel needs this encouragement otherwise he or she will not run.

We rode along with the guy for each of his races and it was fun, even though it is probably one of the more dangerous things to do in Qatar. Driving along with about 30+ other Land Cruisers at a pretty fast speed was fun for me, however, I could see my father pressing his imaginary break and gripping for his life up in the passenger seat. It was even funnier to watch him when we turned around and RACED back to the starting line for the next race... my poor father.

Camel racing can be boring if it is a LONG race because these camels are not very fast but when they are doing sprints like today, and the pace is fairly fast, it is really entertaining. It really is something else, and a good change from horse racing! Glad that I just so happened to be at the farm with my Daddy today because otherwise I would have missed out! 

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