The Camel and Mongolian Day held at Buscot Park on Sunday 16th July was a great success. 300 people had a buffet lunch at 12.00pm in a magnificent and well furnished Bedouin tent. The day began promptly at 2.00pm and was opened by the Mongolian Embassy’s Minister-Counsellor and DHM, Mr. Odonjil Banzragch. Wrestling, an amazing camel dressage display, a tug-of-war, a display of birds of prey and finally an archery contest between Mongolia and England completed the programme. Over 100 Mongolians were present, many in colourful national dress and approximately 2,500 people attended the historic event in the magnificent surroundings of Buscot Park. This was WCPF’s sixth Camel Day and the best yet.
Matthew Parris wrote in The Times:
“It was,” I might begin, “a sunny Sunday afternoon in beautiful Buscot Park in rural Oxfordshire” — and you my readers would be primed to expect a passage of bucolic prose about the joys of English parkland graced by an English stately home in an English summer. This scene, however, was very different. Two quite extraordinary Bactrian camels, their vertiginous humps swaying, mounted by two women in colourful Mongolian costume, pranced, cantered and galloped around an arena while hundreds of spectators seated on straw bales watched in amazement. “My goodness,” gasped an obvious equestrian expert, “that’s a half pass. I didn’t know camels could do that!”There was Mongolian food, Mongolian wrestling and a Britain v Mongolia tug of war. There were falconers and trained Asian birds of prey swooping and diving. Virtually the entire Mongolian embassy had motored up from London for this, a “Camels Day” at Buscot.I’ve long been a supporter of the Wild Camels Protection Foundation, and this spectacular fundraiser had been organised in honour of John Hare, who (with much help now from the Chinese and Mongolian governments) saved wild camels from extinction in the Gobi desert. He has just received the OBE.I stroked the cleft lips and velvety noses of two fine camels, patted four humps, and left with happy memories and a camel-themed sweatshirt.
Camel Day photos © copyright Alejandro Llop