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Page last updated at 10:02 GMT, Friday, 30 July 2010 11:02 UK
Ashbourne's racing camels prepare for action
The camels have settled in well at the farm

A Derbyshire farm famous for its wide range of different animals has welcomed four new arrivals.

The rare Bactrain camels join albino rabbits, celebrity goats, immaculate reindeers and obscure breed pigs at Gate Farm in Sturston in Ashbourne.

Now the owners are training the camels to race with a view to putting on events at race courses around the country next year.

Nathan Anderson-Dixon runs the lively farm with his family.

He said: "We supply animals for films, television and events.

"Initially we got the camels and wanted to check they were in a good condition healthwise and establish them on the farm.

"Now we're looking at what we can do with them.

"We already supply animals to race courses around the country and we're in talks with them now about how we could introduce camel racing in the future."

Camel racing

Camel racing is already popular across the middle east and in Australia. The animals can reach speeds of up to 40 mph.

The events are popular with tourists, race fans and of course gamblers!

Nathan said he's not sure exactly when he will be able to put on his first race.

He explained: "What I've learned with training animals is you can't rush them.

"You can have a time scale in your mind of when you want to do things but they won't do it till they're ready.

"But I'd hope they'll be ready by next year."

Television roles

Trainers at the farm say riding the camels is slightly more dangerous than riding a horse due to the increased height.

The ride also offers a pleasant rocking motion, 'like a boat'.

Other animals on the farm clamour to see what the fuss is about

Former estate agent Nathan gave up his desk job in Burton two years ago to follow his dream of rearing animals for a living.

But rather than making money through traditional farming, his animals are hired out for events and television roles.

His clients so far have included Disney, Harrods and a variety of film companies using the animals for premieres.

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