Kings and queens of Boulia’s camels

Glenda Sutton celebrates a win at the camel races on her mount Chief on Saturday.
Glenda Sutton celebrates a win at the camel races on her mount Chief on Saturday.

Now 21 years old, Boulia’s famous Camel Races got more than just the keys to the town on the weekend.

The three day festival brings thousands of visitors to far western Queensland there to enjoy the “Melbourne Cup of Camel Racing”.

From Friday onwards every day is hump day in Boulia with lawnmower races guaranteed to get the rev going on Friday night.

One rider undaunted by the unusual step riding his machine backwards to still make a place but Mayor Rick Britton proved too good for the field winning the race.

Then the ships of the desert took over on Saturday.

Helped by a great volunteer organising committee and with races enthusiastically called by the ABC’s Andrew Saunders, there was plenty of action on and off the track with the camel tagging and this’s lamb tagging for the littlies proving particularly popular.

The action on the track began with the heats for the 400m finals and there were there several shocks with three favourites disqualified for breaking early including Marley the fastest camel in Australia which was the first camel to break 34 seconds for the 400m last year.

Top Victorian cameleer Glenda Sutton suffered two disqualifications but she did have a successful race on Chief who won the Bedourie Cup last week winning his 100th race in the process.

And Chief backed up on Sunday at Boulia to win the big one racing clear to win the 2017 Desert Sands Boulia Cup over 1500m.

The entertainment on Saturday night was provided by Boulia’s own superstar Ali S Country Singer who gave the crowd what they wanted and more with a big set.

The Boulia Tourism and Information Centre reported big crowds in town for the weekend with caravans taking every vantage point at the racecourse reserve.

The Road Boss Rally was also in town for the weekend brining 150 ralliers and their cars to enjoy the festivities as they went the long way from Gladstone to Tamworth.

After a big day at the camels on Saturday they headed up to Stonehenge on Sunday.

See our Camel Racing gallery on Page 9.