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Point-to-point with a difference in Somerset as camels race

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 31, 2014

Riders in fancy dress during the camel racing event at the Cotley point-to-point races, near Chard, Somerset Picture: SWNS

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Residents in a quiet rural village 'got the hump' yesterday as hundreds turned up to watch camel racing.

Over the past few months many parts of the West have looked more like the a giant lake than the arid Middle East. But a point-to-point organiser decided to raise money for charity by staging the popular Saudi pastime of camel racing. Tom Eames stages a horse racing steeplechase in Cotley, Somerset, every year with the event always attracting a large turnout. But this year he mixed it up with four camel races before the main event.

Tom got in touch with Joseph's Amazing Camels in Warwickshire, who brought a mixture of one humped (dromedary) and two-humped (bactrian) animals down.

Competitors also dressed up in Lawrence of Arabia-inspired outfits for the event.

Richenda Oldham, one of the organisers, said: "We had four really competitive races, particularly from the local veterinary surgeons who were really up for it. You might think the camels would be slow but they went like the clappers, they've been clocked at 25mph on a beach. One was a bit naughty and it came last every time. It's a short distance and they have a Grand National style start. They're waiting for it and they really go. There's a bucket of seed waiting at the end."

The event raised £5,500 for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, which attended a fatal fall at a hunt last year.

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