If you love rabbits…and love to laugh….you’ll love rabbit hopping.
“Here we go. He’s warmed up,” said 13-year-old Alexis Steele, guiding her pet rabbit “Jack” over six hurdles along a thin foam rubber mat.
“It’s a great way to bond with your bunny.”
Although rabbit hopping is relatively new in the United States, it is growing rapidly in popularity.
One of the reasons for the burgeoning growth is the ease of getting into the sport and the natural bondability of the rabbits to those participating or watching.
“It’s fun training the rabbits and watching them improve and get better,” said Alexis. “And the rabbits enjoy it too.”
Startup equipment for hopping is relatively simple. It includes half-inch foam mats, jumps with free falling PVC rails, harness and 6 foot leash and a cooperative, healthy rabbit over four months old.
“We have friends come over and they bring their rabbits and we all have hopping together,” said the Cedar Crest Middle School Honor Student.
And training the rabbits is not that difficult since most of the learning come from them.
“The rabbits learn from watching each other,” said Alexis.
Alexis and her mother, Tammy Steele promote the sport by hosting shows, demonstrations and competition around the area.
“This is a brand new sport in the United States and we’re trying to roll it out as quickly as what we can,” said Tammy Steele. “It puts a lot of smiles on people’s faces.”
Alexis is active in 4-H and Tammy volunteers, especially in relation to rabbit hopping.
In competition, or just for your own entertainment, you can enjoy the successes…and laugh at the shortcomings. Either way, the bunnies are having a ball.
At this year’s Pennsylvania Farm Show, the rabbit “high jump” will be introduced into competition. That is a brand new challenge for most rabbits.