Animal sports

by Chris Bertram on September 27, 2003

Simon Kuper has been pretty busy this week. Not content with analyzing the Islamic vote, he also provides “a handy compendium of weird animal sports”: , including elephant polo, goat racing and tortoise racing. Many of these pastimes are products of the British empire it seems. The champion tortoise answers to the name of Rosa Luxemburg.



Chris Brooke 09.27.03 at 2:45 pm

It’s good to see Rosa Luxemburg getting the coverage she deserves, as a regular winner of the inter-collegiate Oxford Tortoise race. She’s a fine tortoise (actually, I don’t know if she’s a “she”, since I don’t really know how to sex tortoises), and it’s always uplifting to see her motoring around the Garden Quad, eating cigarette butts, or whatever it is that she snacks on.

Incidentally, the official elected each year to organise her physical and ideological training programme to prepare her for the race is called “Comrade Tortoise”, and there is never a shortage of people keen to stand. It’s a fine tradition.

Chris (Balliol, 1992-5, though never Comrade Tortoise)


jam 09.27.03 at 6:26 pm

Strictly speaking, Rosa Luxemburg doesn’t actually answer to the name.


Nabakov 09.28.03 at 12:31 pm

Strictly speaking, Rosa Luxemburg doesn’t actually answer to the name.””

Maybe she does – perhaps just no one sticks around long enough to find out.


andrew 09.29.03 at 4:42 am

The article mentions “ostrich racing in Australia”, which makes me wonder about veracity of the research…I dont think there are any ostriches outside zoos in this country! Emus, certainly, but I’ve never seen them raced!



A Balliol Student 11.04.03 at 11:01 am

Rosa Luxemburg has been stolen! Or at least she has gone missing! It is quite a catastrophe to say the least, and we are searching for her emphatically (perhaps trinity have taken her???)…but nobody knows…

workers of the world unite, find rosa!

Comments on this entry are closed.