Rabbit show jumping
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2009)|
Rabbit show jumping (sometimes known as rabbit dressage or rabbit hopping) is a competition in which trained domestic rabbits leap over appropriately sized obstacles. The activity began in the late 1970s in Sweden (where it is known as Kaninhoppning). It was popularized in the United Kingdom following an appearance on the TV show That's Life!. There are more than fifty rabbit show jumping clubs throughout Scandinavia.
Some people compare rabbit show jumping to equestrian show jumping. Trainers and devotees can win titles and awards during events sponsored by groups such as the American Hopping Association for Rabbits and Cavies (Guinea Pigs), U.S. Rabbit Agility Association, Rabbithopping-USA, the American Association of Sporting Events for Rabbits, 4-H Club fairs, and other venues. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and the United Kingdom hold local and nationally sanctioned events.
The event depends on the type of rabbit, with separate competitions for small rabbits and larger rabbits. The rules are quite different in all countries except Sweden and Norway, therefore it's hard to organize an international competition. Rabbit jumping is also an activity in America, that is gaining popularity. The official world record in high jump for rabbits is 1 meter (39.37 in), by Snöflingans Majesty of Night & Tarkan Sönmez (Sweden). The official world record in long jump for rabbits is 3 meters (118.11 in), by Yaboo & Maria Jensen (Denmark).
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.
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (March 2013)|