Camel racing is an extremely popular sport in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, so much so that some of the animals reaching millions of dollars in value, CNN reported.
Prize money for camels who win races can be more than $2 million. One bull camel was sold for more than $9.5 million, per CNN.
The sport is so popular, as a matter of fact, that rider Hussain al Marzooqi told CNN,
“There’s a hardly a house you can find that doesn’t have a camel owner in it.”
The average cost of keeping a camel can be more than $1,000 a month.
The sport is ancient, but technology is making its mark. Where in the past children were used to train young camels because of their size and light weight, but the practice was outlawed in 2002. Now robotic jockeys are used for young camels, while professional adult riders train older camels.
The robotic jockeys have a speaker that allows remote trainers to issue commands, and a small whip is operated by remote control from a car driving alongside the camel. The typical track length is between one and a half and eight kilometers, and camels have daily training runs of between two and three kilometers.
Racing camels get their blood tested every week and have special diets.
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