Camel racing returns to Sydney

12:07 AM 26 Jul 2014 NZST
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Megan Lavender and Andrew Ho with cameleers and dromedaries
Megan Lavender and Andrew Ho with cameleers and dromedaries
'Sydney will host its second annual city based series of camel races at the heart of Australian harness racing, Bankstown Paceway, next week (July 2014),' according to Bankstown Paceway director Megan Lavender.

'From Monday, July 28th, to Wednesday, July 30th, the century old showground and eight hundred metre trotting track at Condell Park, in Sydney's south west, will serve as the venue for the Second Annual Sydney Camel Racing Carnival: A Christmas in July Stadium Spectacular, which will see cameleers and dromedaries stand in for our much loved reinsmen and standardbreds for the three day festival of racing,' Ms Lavender said.

'Race goers will be treated to four daily races featuring six camels topped off with a non stop entertainment programme featuring New Zealand-born Allen McDonald's world famous Elvis Show and UK comedian Al Showman from The Burning Log Comedy Theatre Restaurant (which has made Bankstown Paceway its new home after six decades at Dural), plus Santa's Christmas in July lunch,' she said.

'With sand, sun and fun, the Second Annual Sydney Camel Races at Bankstown Paceway will be July's ultimate winter warmer,' Ms Lavender added.

The Second Annual Sydney Camel Racing Carnival: A Christmas in July Stadium Spectacular will he held at the heart of Australian harness racing, Sydney's Bankstown Paceway, 178 Eldridge Road, Bankstown, from Monday, July 28th, to Wednesday, July 30th, 2014. Gates open at 10 am. Reserved seating, show and lunch bookings can be made on 1300 THE LOG or 1300 843 564 or 0414 339 558.

Megan J. Lavender

Camel Racing in Australia - The Facts

The facts on camel racing in Australia are as follows:

% Camel racing is a popular sport in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Australia, and Mongolia.

% Like horse racing, camel racing can be an event for both wagering and as a tourist attraction.

% Camels can run at speeds up to 65 km/h (18 m/s; 40 mph) in short sprints and they can maintain a speed of 40 km/h (11 m/s; 25 mph) for an hour.

% Camel racing in Australia - which started more as a tourist attraction than a professional sport - usually takes place on outback racetracks.

% Previously, camel race was held in Sydney at the former Harold Park Paceway, at Glebe, during the Equine Influenza Crisis which prevented many Australian horse races from being held in 2007. In 2013, the Inaugural Sydney Camel Racing Carnival was held at Bankstown Paceway.

% Australian camel racing jockeys are mostly women, unlike the Middle East, where boy jockeys are the norm, and camels race in sprints, not long distance races.

% Camels were first brought to Australia from Afghanistan in the early 1800s to help build major railway and telegraph lines in the outback. They were also used extensively for exploration purposes and as a pack animal.

% By 1895, the Australian camel population had increased to approximately 6,000 head and today the population is estimated at over one million animals.

For additional information or comment, please contact:
Megan J. Lavender
Director
Bankstown Paceway
 
 
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