A somewhat different day at the races

October 31, 20150 Comments

camelrace1Have you ever been to watch horse racing? It’s quite good, huh? But the main issue is that you’re normally a fair distance away from the horses. For a more up close racing experience, I would thoroughly recommend going to watch camel racing.

Along with some pals I travelled farther into the desert than I’d been so far to a place called Kabd, where The Kuwait Camel Racing Club is. I’d not seen a camel in the wild before and it was quite exciting seeing them on the journey in. (By the end of the day I had mild camel fatigue, though.) The journey also took us passed some Bedouins. Strangely enough, they were camped just over the road from a massive house, complete with much greenery outside. The dichotomy of Kuwait…

Once inside, the clubhouse is rather nice. There are some big old leather seats, where you can watch a live feed of the races as they unfold. And you have the best seat to watch the camels lunge for the line.

camelrace

If you want a closer view of the action, then visitors are welcome to stand right next to the dusty track and watch the camels race passed them. What made this event extra special was that visitors were invited to ride in the camera truck and travel on the dirt road alongside the camels during the race. I did this twice and it’s a thrilling experience.

As you would expect, the camels look rather concentrated as they race. The foam which appears around their mouths as they exert themselves isn’t the most pleasant thing to see, though. There are no human jockeys; instead robotic jockeys sit atop of the camels, with the owners racing alongside them in 4x4s controlling the whips wirelessly. The whirring and whipping make it a true sensory experience.

The cavalcade of vehicles alongside the camels is as interesting as the animals themselves. Some of the drivers beat their vehicle doors as they drive and toot their horns in encouragement. One had a small boy poking his head out of the roof, waving a head scarf around in excitement. At one point he even threw it at his camel to try and eek yet more effort out of him. (It ended up winning, so perhaps more should try this.

We were made to feel most welcome at the Club. The driver of the camera truck even gave us all water. I felt a sense of pride from the organisers that people were coming out to share in their passion for camel racing.

The number of races varies week to week, but I’m told there’s normally at least eight. It’s free to get in and races are held most Saturdays from early afternoon between October and April. It’s well worth a trip into the desert for.

Written by Nik Wardle


Our iWriters

Share your words with us by email : [email protected] or contact us by whatsapp : 94418559

Natasha E. Feghali
[email protected]

Shruti Shah

 

Nicholas

Amira Behbehani

Shaheen Sayyed
[email protected]

Fariah Fatima

 

Nejoud al Yagout

 

Mavic Mavz

 

Swati Srivastava

 

Reeya Fernendes

 

A somewhat different day at the races was last modified: by

Comments

comments

Filed in: AllArticleAuthorNicholas
Tagged with:

Back to Top

X
X