Rabbit show jumping
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During the early 1970s Sweden developed rabbit show jumping with rules, guidelines and jumping equipment that was similar to horse show jumping, only in miniature style. In 1987, the first national championship for “straight line easy course” was held in Stockholm, Sweden. The sport grew throughout Sweden and several rabbit jumping clubs were formed to support the growing interest. In the early 1990s, Norway joined in with rabbit jumping activities, developing new clubs and joining Sweden in rabbit jumping competitions. 1993, Denmark started “Kanin Hop” clubs and put on their own hopping competitions and the sport grew throughout the region. 1994, the National Rabbit Show Jumping Organization of Sweden was formed with a permanent set of rules for their championship. Rabbit show jumping is very popular in all parts of Sweden today. 1995, England started rabbit show jumping and slowly developed their own small clubs and rabbit jumping competitions. At the end of 1999, it was decided between the countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, that the rules for “rabbit jumping” and “rabbit hopping”should be combined in some way through the rules, allowing everyone from other participating countries to compete together under a similar system. The rules were revised and updated, now being called the Nordic Rabbit Hopping Rules. Each country modifies and regulates the rules through their own judges committees. They make changes where necessary, printing the rules in their own language in each country and became available in 2001. 2000, Germany joined the other countries in starting their own rabbit hopping club. Training and participation with translations for a new set of rabbit hopping rules came from the judges committee in Denmark. 2001 brought forth the Rabbit Hopping Organization of America. The rules and guidelines for rabbit hopping were established for all Americans with the help of the judges committee in Denmark and with personal assistance from hopping judge Aase Bjerner. 2007 the rules to rabbit hopping were sent from R.H.O.A. to the Rabbit Club of Japan. The American Hopping Association for Rabbits and Cavies was chartered with the American Rabbit Breeders Association 2013. The rules and guidelines for this association were molded after R.H.O.A. and Denmark. 2013 has now seen the beginnings of The Rabbit Hopping Society Of Australia also with the assistance of Aase and Rasmus Bjerner. Combining rabbit hopping with rabbit owners throughout the world, has brought all of us together with a rabbit sport that everyone enjoys.
The official world record in high jump for rabbits is 1 metre by Snöflingans Majesty of Fright & Tarkan Sönmez (Sweden). The official world record in long jump for rabbits is 3 metres, by Yaboo & Maria Jensen (Denmark).
Official rabbit hopping competitions consist of a straight course, a crooked course, high jump and long jump. Straight and crooked courses are divided into 5 levels. Mini : 20 cm Easy : 28 cm Medium : 35 cm Difficult : 45 cm Elite : 50 cm
Mini course is just an introductory course. In order to progress from easy to medium, etc. a rabbit has to earn promotion points. Rabbits are placed according to the number of faults they have (such as knocking a rail down) time only comes into play if 2 placing rabbits have tied for the same placing.
All breeds are allowed to compete; however, there may be problems with smaller and larger breeds. (Rabbit size is usually determined by weight: small rabbits are considered under 2 kilo/4.4 lbs and giant over 5 kilos / 11 lbs) Small rabbits, such as the Polish and Netherland dwarf sometimes have problems jumping over long obstacles due to their size. However, there are examples of small rabbits that still made it to the highest Scandinavian classes. Smaller rabbits can overcome weaknesses through style and will.
Larger rabbits such as the Flemish Giant and French Lop will put a lot of weight on their front legs in the landing while jumping high over higher obstacles, which may cause injury. Generally, long-haired Angora type breeds, if not clipped, are excluded from competing because of the difficulties their coats cause with agility and vision. Neither English Lop should be entered as they risk injury to their ears.
The ideal jumping rabbit has long legs and a long back, which will help it see over longer obstacles and correctly judge the height or length in order to get over. In the case of the Belgian Hare, the legs should be strong and muscular so high jumps will not hurt them. In Scandinavia, where rabbit show jumping has a strong base, most are crossbreeds, bred with good jumpers as parents, similar to the method of breeding show dogs.
- Rabbit Hopping UK
- Rabbit Hopping in Denmark
- Rabbit Hopping in Sweden
- Rabbit Hopping in Norway
- Rabbit Hopping in Australia