Speed and agility aren’t words usually associated with the humble bunny, but professional jumpers from Sweden who demonstrate both in spades are heading to Yorkshire to appear in the Grand National of the rabbit world.
Swedish jumping rabbits first appeared at the Small Animal Show at the Great Yorkshire Showground in 2011, and four of the fluffy creatures will be back this month after two years away due to popular demand.
The rabbits will be doing what they love best, jumping over hurdles and obstacles and hopping around a course in one of the show’s most popular attractions.
Paul Threapleton, who has been one of the main organisers of the event for the last 15 years, first got the bunnies and their trainers over to Yorkshire after spotting videos of them in action on YouTube.
He said: “The first year they came to the show it was a huge success, and we’re looking forward to seeing them in action again.”
The four professional jumping rabbits are being brought over from Sweden by the Small Animal Show’s main sponsor Burgess Pet Care.
Richard Rockett, from Burgess, said the company was “delighted” to be bringing the rabbit jumpers across.
“Popularity has grown since they first arrived on British soil in 2011, and this year’s Grand National of the rabbit world promises to be better than ever,” he added
Professional rabbit jumping trainer Karin Molin said: “My rabbit Micro loves the events and has had several high placements from championships in Sweden and did very well in England last year.
“His record in high jumping currently stands at 85cm high, we hope to beat it in Harrogate.”
The jumpers are just one of the attractions at the show, which takes place on January 24 and 25 and is organised by a small committee of dedicated volunteers.
It is the largest small animal show in the country - with around 3,000 chinchillas, gerbils, hamsters, mice, rabbits and rats attending over two days.
It originated in Bradford in 1921 and sees hundreds of breeder come together to compete in six different sections over two days.
As well as the competition, there will be talks, demonstrations, a discovery area when people can handle animals, stalls, facepainting and family entertainment.
The show has grown in size since moving the Great Yorkshire Showground and the 2015 event is set to be the biggest in it’s history.
Mr Threapleton added: “It takes about 12 months of planning for each show and we’re already well underway with preparations for the 2016 event.”
For tickets to the event visit www.thesmallanimalshow.co.uk