The Most Bizarre Animal Races Around the World

Animal racing has been around for centuries. These races showcase the skills that animals possess as they make it to the finishing line on a track. Horse racing, dogsled racing and greyhound racing are quite common and have become a lucrative business. Well, people are quite creative and have organized some strange animal races. Animals that you may least expect go up against each other on the track. Here are five of the most bizarre animal races from around the world.

1. Oxford Cambridge Goat Race

The Oxford Cambridge Goat Race is an annual event held at Spitalfields City Farm where two goats, Oxford and Cambridge, compete horn for horn for the title of King Billy and an edible prize. The two goats battle it out in honor of their universities. Goats aren’t the most amenable of creatures, so a person carrying a bucket of food entices the two along the track. Tickets are purchased to attend the event and there’s an official bookie and bets can be placed. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the urban farm.

2. Ostrich Races

Ostriches are the tallest and heaviest species of birds. They are able to run at a maximum speed of forty-five miles per hour. Ostrich riding is a strange sport that originated in South Africa and became known to the U.S. in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Ostrich racing is a sport in which jockeys compete against each other while riding on the backs of ostriches. In the past, chariots, wagons and saddles were used to ride the ostrich. Contestants mount their bird, gold its feathers, and ride it down the track. It’s not that simple as the ostriches try to get rid of their jockey by shaking and jumping. Most jockeys don’t make it to the end of the race and that’s quite entertaining.

3. Yabby Races

Yabby is an Australian freshwater crustacean. They are used as participants in entertaining races. There are major races held such as the Windorah’s International Yabby Races. A ring is marked on the ground. For each race, ten yabbies that are numbered with white-out are placed in the middle of the ring. The winner is the first yabby to put its claw outside the ring. Bets are placed like an auction. The money is placed in a pot and the owner of the winning yabby receives all of it. 

4. Cane Toad Races

Cane toads were introduced into Australia’s ecosystem to control the cane beetle which was affecting sugarcane crops but they were even worse than the bettles. Australians have found a way to make them useful. Ribbons are placed on the toads to mark them and they are placed in the center of a ring. The first toad to leave the ring is declared the winner. The toads are bought through an action and the owner of the winning toad receives a portion of the proceeds. The rest of the money is donated to charity to help eradicate the cane toads.

5. Snail Races

The sport of snail racing comprises two or more terrestrial snails competing against one another. Commonly used is the European native common garden snail. They receive sufficient nutrition in preparation for the race. On the day of competition, snails are tagged or painted in different colors to help differentiate them. The snails are placed in the center of a ring that is about twelve inches in diameter. The owners cheer on their snails. The first one to cross the edge of the ring emerges the winner.

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