The Latest craze hopping across the nation
Calling all rabbit owners, grab Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail, rabbit jumping has reached the UK.
In this new pet craze rabbits compete against others on a course, which contains a series of small hurdles. Most breeds can take part in the sport, although Dutch rabbits and the Lops are particularly well suited. Training can begin with getting the rabbit used to a harness, which is used to guide the rabbits around the course, and then the animals can be tempted over small jumps with their favourite treat. In more advanced competitions, the rabbits are timed over the course and receive penalties if they make contact with any of the jumps.
The sport originated in Sweden in the late 1970’s and in 1995, the Swedish Federation of Rabbit Jumping was formed. It is now a popular pastime in Denmark, Germany and the USA.
Maureen Hoyle, a retired office worker from West Yorkshire, visited a rabbit breeder in Sweden and saw some rabbit jumpers in action. These bouncing bunnies inspired her to come home and set up Rabbit Jumping UK and the first official competition in the UK was held last year.
Maureen told the Daily Telegraph: “The rabbits love it. A lot of people are often very surprised at how agile they are and how high they can leap.”
“The name of the game is to encourage the rabbits to clear the jump without touching it. In more serious competitions, the obstacle has a weight at the top which will fall if the rabbit makes contact. This is seen as a penalty which will be added to the rabbit’s total completion time.”
The current world record holders are both Danish bunnies. Yabo, the rabbit, managed to clear 300cm on the long jump and little bunny Tosen, soared to 99.5cm in the high jump.
If you would like your very own Peter Rabbit to take a hop, skip and jump into the world of rabbit jumping, then find out more at Rabbit Jumping UK .