Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Camel Racing

Camels are raced in professional events in Saudi Arabia, where large amounts are bet on the races that can cover between three and ten kilometers. In the inland desert regions of Australia there are also camel racing events, though many do not take is as seriously as their Arab counterparts. This sport is popular in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman; also in Australia and Mongolia.

The camels usually run at around 65 km/h in short sprints; they can maintain a speed of around 40 km/h for an hour. These camels are usually controlled by child jockeys.  Children are favoured because they are not heavy, but there are some allegations of human right abuses for this case.

One of the most popular camel racing events is the Camel Cup which is held at Alice Springs which is in the Northern Territory in Australia. The Camel Cup is the biggest prize purse camel race in Australia. This event is held every year.¬† The race with the biggest prize in Australia is “The Boulia Desert Sands” which has a prize of A$25,000.

camel racing in India Camel race in Bikaner India, 1999

Some of the other big events on the calendar are the Boulia Camel Races, and the Bedourie Camel Cup. Camel races are also held in Rajasthan India, being highlights of the Bikaner and Pushkar Camel Fairs.

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