Swedish jumping team appearing at Burgess Premier Small Animal Show
Champion show-jumpers have been specially bred for competition
Trainer Tina Larsson said the rabbits are bred ‘like jumping horses’
These incredible bouncing bunnies are crushing all preconceived notions about domestic rabbits.
The specially-bred, show-jumping bunnies are showing off their hopping skills at a Rabbit Grand National in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
They can leap as high as three feet over hurdles while they navigate a course with their trainers.
This footage shows the rabbits training for the big event at this weekend’s Burgess Premier Small Animal Show at the Great Yorkshire Showground.
It features champion jumpers from Sweden, which have been specifically bred for show-jumping.
Matthew Brash, veterinary adviser for Burgess Pet Care, said the jumping event, which first appeared in the UK in 2011, said: ‘We’ve brought the Swedish rabbit jumping team over. They are really well-trained, they are doing this because they enjoy doing it but it demonstrates just how much rabbits can actually do.
‘These guys can jump nearly a metre, about 90cm (35.4in) if they’re doing a straight jump, and a lot of the time you will see them jumping nearly half a metre, which is just an amazing feat in its own right.’
Tina Larsson, who is appearing at the show with her rabbit Tora, said rabbit jumping is a popular pastime in Sweden, where it began in the 1970s.
She said: ‘We breed them for jumping and we have done that for 20 years. It’s a known species of rabbit for jumping because we breed them like jumping horses. So they are specially bred for jumping and there are hundreds of jumping rabbits in Sweden.
She added: ‘Just love it. If you love it, you will make the rabbit love it. Just decide “I’m going to do this and I’m going to enjoy it”. Don’t push the rabbit because you can’t push a rabbit, just enjoy it.’
Karin Molin said: ‘My rabbit Micro loves the events and has had several high placements from championships in Sweden and won two gold medals in England this year.
‘His record in high jumping currently stands at 85cm high, we hope to beat it in Harrogate.’