Robotic Jockey Caught Cheating At Camel Racing In Dubai

Posted by Grey Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Need further proof that we now live in a futuristic Sci-Fi age? Here's one for starters.

As crazy-assed as how the headline sounded up there, in the undead spirit of pesky online journalism, we exaggerate not one bit.

Professional camel racing, an evergreen popular sport in India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Australia, and Mongolia, has in recent times evolved in Qatar. Literally, in a most Sci-Fi literature way. While children as young as five were used as jockeys previously (as a means to lighten he load, much like how professional horse racing does), the regulations have been altered due to humanitarian concerns. Extraordinarily, replacing the kids are robot jockeys designed for the role.

And from extraordinary Sc-Fi feats in real life comes extraordinary Sci-Fi sabotage, as the below excerpt from an article from Telegraph.co.uk demonstrate:

Dubai police have confirmed they uncovered a gang of dealers who were selling electric stun gun kits, for up to £5,000, across the region.

These were then being fitted inside the robot jockeys, which cost between £130-£200, that in recent years have largely replaced child jockeys, traditionally used in camel racing, due to humanitarian concerns.

The electric shocks could be administered by remote control to encourage the camel to run faster.

Details of the case are sketchy and the gang, said to be led by two men from an unnamed Asian country, have not yet been brought to court.
Brigadier General Khaleel Ibrahim al-Mansouri, head of Dubai CID, said that police had received a tip-off about the practice.

An undercover officer made contact with the gang during a race at Al Lehbab racecourse outside the city, and offered to buy a machine. When the two men supplied it, they were arrested.

"They put stun guns inside the jockey that sits on the camel so it could send electric shocks," he said. "They made them to order and sold them in several countries.

"They confessed and said some other suspects helped them to modify the jockey.
"It is inhumane to use such machines in camel races. It is also against animal protection laws and against our traditions."


So much for humanitarian concerns. Now we have ourselves some animal rights activism right up next.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk via iO9

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