This weekend a rabbit hopping event hosted by the Rabbit Hopping Society of Australia will be held at Harry Henson Park in Corrimal, Wollongong. The event will involve bunnies running around an obstacle course where they will be judged on their hopping skills.
Sound a bit hopping mad?
Although rabbit hopping may be a relatively new pastime in Australia (the Society was founded in 2013), its origin jumps back forty years.
Rabbit hopping started in Sweden in the early 1970s where it began as a club for locals who brought their rabbits along for jumping competitions. The early stages of rabbit hopping adopted rules similar to horse show jumping but were later edited to better suit a smaller, furrier animal.
The first ever national championship for “straight line easy course” was held in Stockholm, Sweden. As interest grew, so too did the number of clubs across Sweden and surrounding European countries. By 1994 the Swedish Federation of Rabbit Jumping was formed. The Americans jumped in by the early 2000s, and Australia and New Zealand followed suit in 2013-2015.
What does a Hopping Course Look like?
An official course is made up of a crooked course and a straight course, a high jump and a long jump. The courses are divided by skill level: Mini: 20 cm Easy: 28 cm Medium: 35 cm Difficult: 45 cm Elite: 50 cm. The rabbit must complete the course in two minutes or else they are disqualified.
Still a bit apprehensive?
According to Tracy Worley from the Rabbit Hopping Society of Australia, rabbits aren’t given enough credit for their intelligence. Worley owning seven hoppers, herself.
The event is expected to bring in at least 100 competitors from around NSW. Any rabbit is
allowed to enter the competition, but there will be very clear competitors. Worley explains:
They have to be a bit outgoing … the ones that like to dig holes and get out, they’re the ones you need to train up.