Camel race in the Jordanian Desert

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JORDAN (RTV / NBC News Channel) -- A unique race took place in the Middle Eastern country of Jordan Thursday.

A unique race took place in the Middle Eastern country of Jordan Thursday. Against the colorful backdrop of the Jordanian desert, 300 camels dashed towards the finish line across a 3 mile track. Courtesy: RTV / NBC News Channel

Against the colorful backdrop of the Jordanian desert, 300 camels dashed towards the finish line across a 3 mile track.

Their jockeys cheered them on from nearby cars.

This two-day event is part of a bi-annual race, which draws local and international visitors alike.

But this ancient Middle Eastern sport has undergone a technological transformation, with robot jockeys operated via remote control.

Using robot jockeys replaces the controversial practice of using child jockeys.

Camel owners control the robot, which contains a walkie-talkie speaker and an automatic whip, enabling owners to communicate with the camels during the race.

Participants in the race not only compete for a cash prize, which is up to $4,200 for the first place, but also for a chance to boost the price of their animals.

Prize-winning camels can be sold for tens of thousands of dollars.