VIDEO OF THE WEEK: European bunny-hopping championship comes to Czech Republic

Over 200 furry animals competed in the eighth edition of the official European Rabbit Hopping Championship. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 25.11.2022 14:31:00 (updated on 25.11.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

If you didn't know a European annual rabbit-hopping competition existed, now you do! The small town of Jablonec nad Nisou in the north of Czechia was lucky enough to host the eighth installment of the Europe-wide bunny hopping tournament last weekend, reported.

An event taken seriously by rabbit enthusiasts, the competition attracted over 60 competitors and 200 rabbits, which entered the race for the 10 titles on offer.

One can not simply turn up to the competition or register the day before, however. To qualify, participants needed to perform strongly in races held in their respective countries in the months leading up to the championship.

Interestingly, the (human) participants mainly consisted of women, who were 20 years old on average. Just three men submitted their rabbits for the championship.

Professional bunny hopping has strong Scandinavian influence. Competitive rabbit jumping started in Sweden in the 1970s, and later became popular in Norway, Denmark, and Finland.

Rabbits not always jumping for joy

Even the best-trained and usually skilled rabbits did not perform as expected, however. Some owners withdrew "because the[ir] bunny was tired or lying down," moderator of the event Vendula Kohoutová said. Their performance, she added, "depends on how they sleep and what their mood is, which is unpredictable."

A rabbit with his or her back to the obstacle course is a clear indication that they are not willing to participate, writes. “Some rabbits are quite temperamental, but it is necessary when jumping," were the words of David Rozkošný, who took part in the event and has been training rabbits since 2014.

The Czech-rabbit long jump record is a startling 295 centimeters! The world record in the high jump, as of 2019, is 106 centimetres.

Rabbit owners use gestures, words, sounds, and even cuddling to motivate their four-legged participants to perform as well as possible!

Czech bunnies going fur victory

Rabbits with Czech owners performed particularly well in the championship last weekend, winning eight titles. Many eyes were on the performances of Swedish rabbits, who are considered Europe's best in bunny hopping.

Long jump, high jump, parkour, and an "elite flat course" were some of the categories that rabbits competed in, as their owners watched in hop(e) they would win.

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