The age of a camel is measured by its teeth, camels must be microchipped to compete and some competitions require blood testing. At Al Dhafra, competing camels are obliged to overnight at judging pens on the eve of competitions. Owners still douse humps with hairspray and give camels a fine combing to give that fluff on the hump extra volume but after a night at the pens, the pampering makes little difference. Misty mornings in the desert wreak havoc on hair and by the time of the judging, prospective champions will only have their God-given beauty.If all else fails there is a time-honoured safeguard. Before winners are announced, owners must swear on the Quran about a camel’s age and ownership. Whatever tactics employed to con judges, owners are reminded that while breeders may be judging the camels, God is judging them. This, in the end, does the trick.
January 24, 2018 at 12:21 PM EST