Happy Humpday, folks! We’ve talked about it before and we’re talking about it again — camel racing! A very, very, very popular sport among the monarchies of the United Arab Emirates.
According to a CNN article written in March of this year,
“In keeping with the region’s rapid development from gulf outpost to economic hotspot, prize money for winning camels can now be upwards of $2 million.
One bull camel was reportedly sold recently for 35 million Dirham — over $9.5 million.
‘It’s part of the tradition, it’s part of the culture,’ accomplished endurance rider Hussain al Marzooqi tells CNN.
‘There’s a hardly a house you can find that doesn’t have a camel owner in it.'”
With stakes that high, it should come as no surprise that the wealthiest camel owners go to great lengths to get their camels in the best form possible.
According to an article from theatlantic.com, an article written in 1999 when, 20 years before that, camel racing was barely a “thing” among non-Bedouin people,
“Inevitably, the fires of cultural nationalism have been fanned by the simoon of competition. The camel-racing sheikhs have ample resources, and they have sunk vast sums into the buying and training of camels. There are some 14,000 active racing camels in the Emirates. The sheikhs have built special treadmills and swimming pools to give the animals exercise. They have experimented with dietary supplements. They have mounted attacks on trypanosomosis and camel pox. They have hired physiologists, nutritionists, even psychologists. And, of course, they have begun to think about improving the racing stock, through scientific breeding programs and careful attention to pedigree.”
That being said… behold!