Camel racing comes to Chepstow
6:01am Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
AT TOP speed they can run as fast as horses, but camels might give their celebrity riders the hump at Chepstow Racecourse this autumn.
Racing TV presenter Matt Chapman and three-day eventing rider Laura Collett are two having to cajole the animals to put their best foot forward in the first William Hill camel derby.
Popular in the Middle East, the sport of racing them is coming to Chepstow for the first time on November 21.
Two heats made up of four camels will follow the horse racing on the card and the first ones to cross the line after one furlong will go head to head in the Derby.
The event is raising money for Paul’s Place, a charity supporting adults with physical, sensory and cognitive impairment. Its chairwoman of trustees, racehorse owner Laura Day, has planned the event with a difference.
She said: “The problem is with camels whether they sit down or stand up! I am told top jockey AP McCoy knows how to get them to win so the jockeys may be talking to him.
I think it will be lots of fun.”
Other jockeys climbing aboard include actor Sean Gleeson and Andrew Smith, the bookmaker who has the number one pitch at Chepstow.
Jockeys will be provided with their mount through Joseph’s Amazing Camels, which says on its website: “The louder the cheering, the faster they go!”
The animals can reach 40mph in short sprints and maintain a speed of 25mph for an hour.
The Derby will be shown live on At The Races with commentary from Channel 4’s Richard Hoiles.
Racehorse owners can pledge a £100 donation to have their colours displayed in the commemorative racecard. Eight sets will be drawn prior to the day to be worn by the camel jockeys.
Chepstow Racecourse is allowing free entrance on the day for anyone with the christian name of Paul, Paula or Pauline (proof required).
For more information visit www.chepstow-racecourse.co.uk.
Mr Chapman’s donation page can be found at www.justgiving.com/Yeeehaaa
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