Interest in camel beauty competitions has grown since the boom of oil production through the 20th century, as camels became associated with status and prosperity. These pageants have become massive. 7.5 million, combined with the crown of “Miss Camel”. The lure of the glittering awards in addition has led to cheating.
Earlier this season 12 camels were disqualified from a camel beauty pageant in Saudi Arabia after receiving Botox injections to enhance the look of their lip area and noses. Just what exactly constitutes a prize-winning camel? Many varieties of camels contend in pageants across the Arabian Peninsula, so they in different ways are assessed.
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I have worked with the Omani Camel Racing Federation to help develop a new scoring system, which seeks to boost the fairness and transparency. Dependence on Omani beauty contests is that only pure-bred camels from Oman might participate. Camel owners must testify under oath to the authenticity of their animals’ pedigree, or these are banned from engaging. Local committees of experts to assess and rank the camels, which are categorized by age group after a tooth examination. Coat: an all natural appearance with a shiny hair of the clearly definable color. The brighter the locks, the more beautiful the pageant entrant is considered to be.
No hair-colouring, other or tattooing cosmetic adjustment is allowed. Neck: must be long, wide, and elegant and lean, neither full nor skinny overly. The certain area between your neck and the hump should be long and strong. Head: should be large, and upright as well as proportioned to all of those other body. Lips are out and pendulous, with the upper lip cleft being, chin is noticeable from the side and front, and eyes are wide with long, dark lashes.
Ears are long, furrowed and pricked up, and keep carefully the sand out also. Hump: large and shapely, in the most common position near to the trunk – a good posture and a big hump may increase a camel’s potential for winning. Pageant contestants are housed away from the sun and fed dairy, wheat, honey, and dates before the competition.
During the competition itself, some judges appointed by Omani Camel Racing Federation inspect the camels, seek advice from with each other, and rank the animals. The whole scoring process is qualitative, and at no true point do the judges write a score or explain the reasoning behind their decisions. The increasing popularity of camel beauty contests has caused some dissatisfaction on the lack of a formal scoring system.
While studying the genetics of a range of pets as diverse as crocodiles, platypuses, orgies, wild pigs, and peccaries, I decided to undertake a project to define requirements for competitions, predicated on the original judging system. We started with a simple question: “What features make a camel beautiful from an Omani perspective?” We then developed a numerical credit scoring cards to help judges describe their decisions.