Rabbit jumping competitions are becoming more popular. Hoppington Post reported a short time ago about visiting the Canadian Rabbit Hopping Club in Calgary, Alberta. But we were not aware of the history of the activities nor the controvery surrounding them until we saw a report today in the Mirror News from the U.K.
It seems the official name for bunny jumping competitions, at least in Europe, is Kaninhop, and it they got their start more than 25 years ago in Sweden. Another facet of the events of which we were unaware is that some animal rights groups are opposed to Kaninhopping for two reasons. Because the rabbits have to wear harnesses, and that some times there are leashes attached to the harnesses and they are used to pull the rabbits in directions they might not ordinarily want to have gone.
Here is what Mirror News reported:
Bunny hop: Showjumping rabbits take part in annual Kaninhop championships in Germany
Kaninhop was invented in Sweden in the early 1980s and involves bunnies bouncing their way around courses consisting of several small jumps of varying height
No your eyes haven’t deceived you… that really is a rabbit showjumping.
Bunny enthusiasts from across Europe gathered today for the annual Kaninhop championship in Jena, east Germany.
Kaninhop was invented in Sweden in the early 1980s and involves bunnies bouncing their way around courses consisting of several small jumps of varying height.
Bob-tailed competitors must take part in four different rounds including different types of barricades, jumps and rails, while attached to a lead.
In addition to the dressage-style courses, there are also long-jump and high-jump challenges.
The world height record is 99.5cm while the best distance is fully three metres, according to Swedish fan site kaninhoppning.se.
However animal rights activists have slammed the hobby. Sweetrabbits, a private animal rights initiative in Germany, has criticised the use of harnesses in Kaninhop competitions.
The group has even accused trainers of using the tethers to pull uncooperative rabbits over the obstacles.
To read the complete article, please go online to:
When we saw a recent demonstration by the Canadian Rabbit Hopping Club of what they refer to as “rabbit agility training,” we were impressed to see that none of the jumping bunnies had a leash attached to its harness. Furthermore, we had earlier seen a video posted on the Disapproving Rabbits website showing how slowly and cautiously the handsome rabbit Dougal was introduced to his new harness before ever putting it on him.
It is our hope that any rabbit owners who want to get their bunny started with agility training will do it with the best interests of the rabbit in mind. Done properly, this is a hobby that will keep pet rabbits interested in an activity, rather than simply having to sit in their cages all day with nothing to stimulate them.
Hoppington Post would like to hear from our readers about your views on Kaninhop competitions.
Photo courtesy Canadian Rabbit Hopping Club