“RIDING a horse is like riding a Ferrari,” said an exhilarated Sarah-Tillard, 49, from near Milborne Port near Sherborne.

“But riding a camel is like going 100mph on a tractor.”

She competed in three exciting and alarming races that brought a crowd-pleasing end to the fifth Countryside Alliance fundraiser at Badbury Rings, near Wimborne.

The volunteer riders took on four beasts that reached around 8ft tall at the tips of their humps.

Louisa Stokes, 25, from Blandford, looked up nervously beforehand and said: “It’s like twice the height of getting on a horse!”

She won the ladies race over 200 yards to cheers from the several hundred-strong crowd who stayed to watch it round off Sunday’s event.

The camels were patient and friendly, despite their reputation for biting and spitting.

Owner Joseph Fossett of Joseph’s Amazing Camels in Warwickshire said: “It’s the way you train them – the nicer you are, the better they are.”

Charlie Frampton, 34, from Blandford, won the men’s race, and then the mixed final, despite a steward’s inquiry into how he repeatedly manoeuvred his way on to the biggest camel, called Gobi.

Mr Frampton, the huntmaster of the Portman Foxhounds, joked: “Gobi was very frisky so I knew that was the one to go for.”

The event started at 12noon and around 3,000 people enjoyed seven horse races, terrier racing, a horn blowing competition, food and craft stalls and a hospitality tent.

Richard Fry, chairman of the organisers, from Halstock, near Yeovil, said: “It’s the third time we’ve had camel racing and it’s always very popular.”

Money went to Weldmar Hospicecare Trust in Dorchester and the Countryside Alliance.