Mongolia's steppes host camel derby and beauty parade

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Mongolia's steppes host camel derby and beauty parade
Camels are seen in sunset during "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 6, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race that's part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
People play camel polo during "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 6, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Camels breathe in cold weather during "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 7, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
People wearing traditional costumes wait for a parade on the back of camels during "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 6, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Contestants ride during a camel race at "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 7, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
A camel kneels down during "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 7, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
People wearing traditional costumes wait for a parade on the back of camels during "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 6, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Contestants ride during a camel race at "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 7, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Children ride camels during "Temeenii bayar", Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 6, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People crowd to watch a camel parade during "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 6, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
A child rides a camel during "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 6, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
A man leads camels during "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 6, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
People wearing Mongolian costumes chat in front of their camels during "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 6, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Contestants ride during a camel race at "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 7, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People crowd to watch a camel parade during "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 6, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Contestants ride during a camel race at "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 7, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race that's part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
People wearing traditional costumes wait for a parade on the back of camels during "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 6, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
People sit on a cart with a camel tied to it during "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 6, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race thatÃs part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Camels are seen against sunset during "Temeenii bayar", the Camel Festival, in Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag, Mongolia, March 6, 2016. On the steppes of the Gobi Desert, the crowd urges on Bactrian camels laden down with all that's needed to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. Guinness World Records classes the 15 km race that's part of the two-day festival as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants. The winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds, according to the records website. REUTERS/B. Rentsendorj SEARCH "TEMEENII BAYAR" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
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DALANZADGAD, Mongolia, March 29 - Out in the Gobi Desert, the crowd, many in colorful Mongolian traditional dress, admire the shaggy-haired, cud-chewing camels as they plod by in a beauty parade.

Later, many of their owners mount their beasts to drive them on a dusty, chaotic 15-km (nine miles) race across the steppeland.

It's all part of Mongolia's Camel Festival - an event as central to traditional nomadic life as the bactrian camel itself, a wooly, two-humped beast that sports a flowing beard of hair.

Guinness World records classes the race, that is part of the two-day festival, as the largest camel race in the world, drawing 1,108 participants from across Mongolia to the site outside Dalanzadgad in Umnugovi province.

This year, the winning camel romped home in 35 minutes and 12 seconds on the wind-swept steppe, according to the records website.

The bactrian camel itself is a beast of burden that normally carries everything that is required for a Mongolian to be able to build and live in a traditional Mongolian tent. They cost about $750 per piece.

Known fairly or unfairly for their feisty temperament, some plowed into the crowd of spectators, though no injuries were reported.

"Your camel has to be bad-tempered for riders to get a place here," one person joked to another.

Many families trekked for at least seven hours from the capital Ulan Bator to watch the competition. There are minimal conditions to enter: the camels must be pure breed Mongolian bactrian and at least four years old. Entry is free.

Camel wool is vital for making clothes, blankets, jackets and socks, and also can be twined into rope.

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