In Central Australia, the ancient sport of camel racing has staged a come-back, but competitors in the Alice Springs Carnival races soon found out that it is not easy convincing the camels to join in.
SV Riders with camels preparing for start
CU Angry camel protesting, in line for start.
GV PAN Start of race
GV Late Starter Flynn Drive Supermarket being encouraged.
SV Family watching from roof of vehicle.
SV RSL Club entrant and Allied Express pick up passengers.
SV Camels finishing race.
CU Women with cameras
SV Camels return to enclosure
CU Winning crew drink champagne from cup while camel grunts.
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Background: In Central Australia, the ancient sport of camel racing has staged a come-back, but competitors in the Alice Springs Carnival races soon found out that it is not easy convincing the camels to join in.
SYNOPSIS: The annual Alice Springs carnival was held on Tuesday (4 September) and faithful to its reputation for producing the unexpected, this year camels featured in the races instead of horses. The carnival is sponsored by the Lions Club a national organisation of businessmen devoted to charity fund raising. But it wasn't just a case of off on a hump with a belt on the rump...the riders found it nearly impossible to get their charges to the starting line.
Forty-three starters finally lined up for the racing series, but only two or three finished each event. The others were locked in a struggle with their riders on the dusty track, refusing to emulate the great in the sport of kings.
Camel racing echoes the past traditions of the Alice, where, at the turn of the century, the camel was a key form of transport. Afghan camel drivers helped open up the outback but most of the camel population now roams wild.
Each camel was attended by a ground crew of three who pushed, pulled, kicked and shoved the beast in the hope of persuading it to compete. At the end of a frustrating day, Noel Fullarton and his crew were judged the winners, having at least been successful in guiding two camels over the line.