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Rabbit Jumping around Competition Game

Hilarious show jumping pictures with a twist show how rabbits are being trained to run the gauntlet - leaping high obstacles in a new British craze.

Rabbit Jumping UK is the country's only rabbit jumping club and began when retired office worker Maureen Hoyle visited a fellow breeder in Sweden and got inspired.

The unusual sport is popular there and in other parts of Scandinavia.

Well trained: Vivien Jamieson jumping with her orange Netherland Dwarf on the UK's first Rabbit jumping competition course

Rabbit fan Maureen took the idea back home and appealed to others to join a new club.

The rabbits are trained by owners at home who use treats to encourage the animals to make a leap of faith over barriers.

On Saturday members met at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate, North Yorks.

They treated visitors attending the Bradford Excel Small Animals Show to two competitions and rabbit jumping displays.

Home-bred: Rebecca Brewster (24) jumping with her English rabbit on the competition yesterday

Tricky: The participants had to jump across six hurdles to get through the race

'The rabbits love it,' said Maureen, from Huddersfield, West Yorks.

'The rabbits are very agile and a lot of people are surprised by what they can do.

'The rabbits have to clear the jump without touching it.

'In more serious competitions the obstacle has a delicately balanced weight at the top which will fall if the rabbit makes contact.

Whoops... This mini Lop, Blackie, finds that the obstacle isn't as easy as it looks

That will add a penalty to the rabbit's total time.'

Nine competing rabbits wearing harnesses were guided by their owners on a lead through a course of six jumps.

The world's champion bunnies can clear heights of up to three feet.


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