Kaninhopp jumps in popularity

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

If you’ve got a big-eared, furry hopping machine what better sport is there to compete in than Kaninhopp – Rabbit show jumping!

We’ve mentioned Kaninhopp previously in one of our Facebook Fun Fact Friday posts, but honestly, we had no idea that this sport was already established in Australia and beginning to attract competitors.

Kaninhopp, or rabbit show-jumping – seems to be a sport specially made to keep rabbits active and happy, and many rabbit owners are embracing the opportunity to bond with their flop-eared friend and keep them fit by joining in this fun and growing sport.

Grey rabbit jumps over show jumping barriers on a kaninhopp course
Kaninhopp is growing in popularity, especially in the Eastern States

Rabbit jumping first began in Sweden in the 1970s, and over the next 20 years spread in popularity across northern Europe with Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany joining the international Kaninhopp community. In 2001 it made it to America, and its popularity there has continued to grow.

In 2013 Aase and Rasmus Bjerner, two experienced Kaninhopp officials from the rules committee in Denmark visited Australia to help establish the Rabbit Hopping Society of Australia in accordance with international rules.

Since then Kaninhopp has gradually and steadily grown in popularity in Australia.

And these rabbits can really jump. Open to all breeds, Kaninhopp results are based on either the length or the height of the jump. In Australia mini-lop Maximus is the current long jump record holder, leaping 1.7 metres, while Minties – a Polish – has managed to leap 76cm into the air.

Impressive as these heights and distances are, there’s a long way to go for our bunny athletes to catch their international competitors, with the world record for long jump an astounding 3 metres, while the high jump record sits at 1 metre!

White rabbit negotiates a kaninhopp course led around by its female owner
Kaninhopp is a lot like equine show jumping, but on a miniature scale designed just for rabbits

The RHSA is based in NSW, and currently most Kaninhopp events are held there, especially in the Blue Mountains area, where the cooler temperatures extend the “hopping season”, but the sports supporters are keen to help it grow in Australia, and help their rabbit athletes grow to the stature of their international brothers and sisters.

So, if you’ve got rabbits, maybe Kaninhopp is something you’d like to get involved with?

If you’re interested just look up the RHSA online and see how you can jump into Kaninhopp.

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