Saturday, March 1, 2008

Camel Races


Camel races are held regularly in the south of Algeria, where valuable prizes are offered for the encouragement of the breed of racers, and as much interest is taken in their preparation and performance as in that of race horses at Latonia.

The racing camels are the result of very careful breeding through many generations, and in size, temper and appearance they are so different from the ordinary beast of burden that they might almost be considered a different race of animals.

Perhaps the most conspicuous characteristic of the ordinary camel is its extreme slowness. Nothing on earth will ever induce it to hurry. A $20 note will buy a very fair specimen, but for a mehari, or racing camel, five or ten times that sum is required to effect a purchase.

The racer, however, can be depended on for nine or ten miles an hour and kept up for 16 or 17 hours almost without stop. The pace in a camel race is generally fast and furious at the beginning, when all the animals are together and seem to realize that a contest is in progress.

No comments: