Sport is hopping ahead

Cutie Pie is put through her paces. Photo: Melinda Jane
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It has been compared to horse equestrian, only the stars of the event are much smaller.

Featuring all kinds of rabbits, Rabbit Hopping is an event that has been around for more than 30 years.

Burrowing its way over to Australia in 2013, the Rabbit Hopping Society of Australia has since been hosting competitions where bunnies battle it out for the top titles.

Penrith local Natasha McGarry has been involved in Rabbit Hopping for the past five years, training and entering her pets in the different courses.

“I was at a pet show and they had this course called Rabbit Hopping and you had to get your rabbit to jump one jump and I thought ‘yeah I’ll try it’,” she said.

“I put my old rabbit through and she won, so I went and brought some small jumps and then someone said they were running it as a competition and I just kind of got hooked.”

Natasha McGarry with Cutie Pie. Photo: Melinda Jane

With the society holding a competition at least once a month, the rabbits work their way through a variety of straight and crooked courses, with up to 14 jumps per course.

However, the event isn’t every rabbit’s bowl of carrots.

“It just really depends on the rabbit and if they are willing to jump because not all rabbits are going to jump, it’s more of the crazy outgoing personalities that will most likely do it,” Ms McGarry said.

Cutie Pie, a Netherland Dwarf, is Ms McGarry’s current entrant, who has proved to be quite the jumper, taking out first place in the easy crooked course and high jump at their recent show in Corrimal.

But Ms McGarry said that it was all in the name of fun with serious competition taking a back seat.

“We have a good competition amongst each other but it’s always just good fun in the end,” she said.

“You get to meet new people and our bunnies get to be active and run around.”

With 10 active members in the Rabbit Hopping Society of Australia, Ms McGarry said they were hoping to get more people involved.

“We are a small club when you compare us to Denmark who has 200 members, but we are trying to expand,” she said.

“Come along to one of our shows and have a go on a course.”
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