Archaeological discoveries have found that horse racing dates way back to the civilizations of ancient times. It was an official event at the Greek Olympic Games which were held in the year 664 B.C. Its basic premise has remained largely unchanged for thousands of years. Here, we are going to take a look at the top few activities from around the world that involve the racing of animals against each other, but most certainly do not involve any horses.
The organized act of greyhound racing has its origins in the coursing (hunting) of deer, hare, and foxes in the UK and Europe. It was Queen Elizabeth I of England who has been credited with inventing this in the 1500s, which is why greyhound coursing has become widely known as “The Sport of Queens.”
The sport developed into its current form thanks to Owen Patrick Smith in 1912. He wanted to see an end to what he saw as the cruelty of the killing of jackrabbits by greyhounds, and so he invented the mechanical hare as an alternative. In 1919, Smith opened the world’s first greyhound racing track along with a grandstand in Emeryville, California.
The annual World Snail Racing Championships have taken place on the cricket field at Congham in the UK county of Norfolk every July for more than 25 years, using only the native European common garden snail. It has been declared that giant foreign snails are strictly forbidden.
Camel racing became a more organized and formal sport with the formulation of governing bodies to establish official racing rules and regulations. Camel racing is now recognized as a serious international sport and has become extremely popular in India, Egypt, Australia, and particularly in the Arab countries of the Middle East. Some of the world’s most popular and best-known camel races, with the highest prize funds, are currently held in Australia, particularly in the state of Queensland. The “Sheikh Zayed International Camel Endurance Race” has a price purse of A$50,000 (US$37,000); also in Queensland, the annual prize purse of “The Boulia Desert Sands” totals A$25,000 (US$18,500).
Turtle racing began in the United States in 1902 when seven turtles in Chicago were jockeyed across a garden, being ridden by young children. The Chicago Tribune at the time understandably labeled it as “The strangest race ever run.” The main street at Longville, Minnesota has been the venue for races since the 1950s, leading to the state legislature honoring the town as “the turtle racing capital of the world.” PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has been the most vocal in its condemnation against numerous turtle races held in Canada and has even suggested the racing of rubber ducks as a preferred alternative.
While quite common in parts of South Africa, ostrich races are also held at a number of venues throughout the United States where the birds are ridden like horses, using saddles and reins. The Ostrich Farm in Jacksonville, Florida, has held competitions since it opened as a tourist attraction in 1892, and the annual Ostrich Festival takes place in Chandler, Arizona. Similar events are also regularly held in the states of Iowa, Nevada, and Kentucky.
Goat racing originated on the Caribbean island of Tobago in 1925. Drawing thousands of spectators every year, the Buccoo Goat Race Festival is the world’s longest running goat racing event. It is currently sponsored by the Tobago House of Assembly’s Department of Tourism. Originally held on the village streets, it now takes place at the $100 million racing arena and stables, known as the Buccoo Integrated Facility.
The 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the rural areas of the UK saw the government having to introduce emergency legislation which severely limited the movement of animals around different parts of the country. As a consequence, many horse racing meetings had to be canceled. Seeing their income from sports gambling beginning to plummet in dramatic fashion, online bookmaking company Blue Square decided to take matters into their own hands. They introduced the first hamster racing series.
Cockroach racing was born in 1986 at the Story Bridge Hotel in Brisbane, Australia. History was made that day, and cockroach races now take place annually at the same hotel on January 26, known as “The Australia Day Cockroach Races.”In the United States, the Pest Control Association of New Jersey holds a popular cockroach race every fourth year at its annual trade show, prior to the Presidential election. The aim of the race is to predict New Jersey’s Democrat candidate. It is said that the race has a very respectable 84 percent success rate of correctly choosing the winning election candidate.
This post was created with our nice and easy submission form. Create your post!