Boulia Camel Races to overcome 'speed hump'

Focus switches to 2021 event after cancellation.

Organisers of the annual Boulia Camel Races have promised to “keep the campfires burning” until next year following the cancellation of the 2020 event.

With travel to outback Queensland restricted due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the July event was abandoned with the focus now on the 2021 running of the “Melbourne Cup of camel races”.

Event organiser Rebecka Britton said it was disappointing the small town would miss out on its annual influx of visitors for the event.

“To all the people who were planning to head to outback Queensland to see us in Boulia this July, we’re as disappointed as you are to miss out on 2020,” Ms Britton said.

“But be assured it’s only a small speed hump in our plans, because we’ve already set the dates for Boulia Camel Races to return on 16-18 July 2021.

“By the time outback Queensland is rolling out the welcome mat for travellers again, our tiny towns will be relieved to see visitors back, but for now we’re all in this together and we’ll just have to live off our great memories of 2019.”

Winners of the 2019 Boulia Camel Cup were local trainers Dannileah Stewart and Ronnie Callope. 

Camel racing aficionados believe the year off may suit the reigning champions when they defend their crown next year.

Their camels are younger than many others on the circuit and an extra year to mature and train will see them comeback stronger in 2021.

“The camel trainers and their crews who normally make the trek out to see us each year are really going to get itchy feet missing out this year,” Ms Britton said.

“One of our longest supporters, camel trainer and jockey Glenda Sutton, has been making the trek interstate to Boulia for two decades and our four local camel training teams will miss the races as much as our visitors.”

Next year was to be a 25th anniversary celebration for the Boulia Camel Races but that milestone has now been pushed back to 2022.

The organising committee has invited supporters to join them on Facebook and Instagram to share and re-live the memories of their Outback Queensland and camel racing adventures.