1/8/2017 – Harrisburg – The arena was packed as spectators watched rabbits from all corners of the state leap their way through the Celebrity Rabbit Hopping Competition on Sunday, January 8, during the 101st Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

Six local celebrities were paired with 4-H members and their rabbits to navigate through a 50-foot-lane filled with hurdles up to two feet tall – smaller replicas of jumps seen at equine competitions. Also, in comparison to equine shows, the rabbit that knocked down the fewest poles and completed the course in the fastest time won.

Paperplanes the rabbit placed first, exhibited by Senator Lisa Boscola and coached by her owner, Sydney Turner, Philipsburg, Clearfield Co.

Other local celebrity participants included Amy Kehm from ABC27 Good Day PA, Executive Director, Pa Farm Show Complex and Exposition Center Sharon Altland, Amy Lutz from FOX43, Secretary Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Cindy Dunn,

All of the participating rabbits were trained and equipped with the proper jumping harness, but the celebrities were new to working with their randomly assigned rabbit.

In addition, while each rabbit is trained for rabbit hopping and is coached by their 4-H owner, the rabbits that won every year to date were all trained by the same member: Sydney Turner.

Rabbit hopping as a sport was developed in Sweden during the early 1970s and was introduced into the United States in 2001. By 2013, the American Rabbit Breeders Association formed and chartered the American Hopping Association for Rabbits and Cavies.

Other results (celebrity, rabbit and owner):

2nd – Amy Kehm from ABC27 Good Day PA with Zeus owned by Garrett Peters of Reedsville, Mifflin County
3rd – Executive Director, Pa Farm Show Complex and Exposition Center Sharon Altland with Nicole owned by Madison Weaver of Mill Hall, Clinton County
4th – Amy Lutz from FOX43 with Silvermist owned by Olivia Blatt of Butler, Butler County
5th – Secretary Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Cindy Dunn with Alice owned by Rebecca Tone of Tunkhannock, Wyoming County
6th – Kristin Mazur from CBS21 with Charlie owned by Shiane Boyer of Shermans Dale, Perry County
7th – Representative Patty Kim with Luke owned by Nicole Belloma of Honey Brook, Chester County

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event, featuring 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits, and 300 commercial exhibitors. The show runs January 7-13 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and January 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and parking is $15 in Farm Show lots. The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is easily accessible from nearby Interstate 81.

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From Pennsylvania Farm Show Press Release: http://www.farmshow.state.pa.us/PressReleases.aspx?PRID=1327

Photos at http://www.farmshow.state.pa.us/EventPhotos2017.aspx?AID=1462.