View Full Version : What's a Bigger Draw Than a Camel Fight? A Camel Beauty Contest, of Course

01-23-2011, 02:00 AM
SELCUK, TurkeyŚChariot, a 1,500-pound, single-humped camel with spittle hanging from his lips and pompoms in his tail, just won the first-ever beauty contest at Turkey's annual camel fighting competition.

Organizers used to arrange female camels just outside the fighting ring, training them to recline seductively so their scent would egg contestants on. (The winners didn't get the girl.) But the males became so aggressive they injured each other, leading to brawls among the owners. The practice was stopped.

According to the pageant's four stony-faced judges, Chariot had better muscle tone, prettier adornments and a more elegant tail wag as he strutted along a catwalk of rugs to the sound of Turkish pipes and drums last weekend. Plus, they said, he had exceptionally good teeth.

To the uninitiated, what makes a camel beautiful isn't exactly obvious. But organizers of the Selcuk championship hope the addition of a pageant will draw new enthusiasts to the sport of camel fighting, which is struggling to stay relevant in an increasingly modern and urbanized Turkey.

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