The Hamra Ain has once again proved that it is one of the most prized breeds in Oman.

A Hamra Ain camel from Musannah won the third consecutive “most beautiful camel” pageant at the recently concluded Khareef festival in Salalah. This camel had previously clinched similar titles at the Saham and Barka shows, held in 2013 and early this year.

Her owners – brothers Khamis Masoud and Juma al Zadjali – are elated as their eight year old camel beat a 15-time winner and three other really rare breeds, at the pageant. Khamis and Juma took home a Hyundai Accent as reward.

“This is a big win for us because it was the first time that we were taking our camel from our farm in Musannah to participate in Salalah. We had to cover a distance of over 1,000km,” said Khamis. “It was a big risk as our Hamra Ain had never travelled this far. We had to take a lot of precautions because the climate in Salalah is far cooler and wetter compared to Musannah. The camel risks getting sick if it is shifted from hot weather conditions, and if your camel is unwell on the day of the contest, you are bound to lose,” he added.

As a precautionary measure, the camel was only fed warm milk and honey being transported to Salalah in a truck.

“We then stationed ourselves for four days at Sumarait, which is some 70km before Salalah to acclimatise the Hamra Ain to the conditions before taking her to participate at the show,” Khamis said.

At the pageant, this Hamra Ain was judged on the basis of her appearance. “This includes its face, the shape of its hump, and its gait,” Khamis said.

The Hamra Ain, meaning red eye in Arabic, is a very rare and selective local breed. Currently, there are only three or four Hamra Ains in the country