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Swedish bunnies tipped for Grand National win

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Swedish bunnies tipped for Grand National win
Swedish rabbits compete in London last year. Source: YouTube
11:05 CET+01:00
Four Swedish jumping rabbits capable of clearing up to three metres in a single hop are gearing up to compete in the Rabbit Grand National in England at the end of this month.
It is is the first time Sweden’s floppy-eared athletes will compete at Yorkshire's Small Animal Show dubbed the 'Crufts of the small animal world’ - since Cherie, a two-year-old bunny from Gävle, bounded to victory in the 2012 hurdle race.
 
The sport of bunny athletics originated in Sweden in the 1970s, speading to England in 2011, when Swedish bunnies first competed at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. 
 
Scandinavia still leads the world, with the Danish hopper Tosen holding the record for the highest jump (close to a metre), and another Dane, Yabo, holding the three metre long-jump record. 
 
Karin Molin from Sweden, who is bringing the Scandinavian competitors to the show, hopes her prize rabbit can beat his personal record.   
 
“My rabbit Micro loves the events and has had several high placements from championships in Sweden and did very well in England last year,” she told the Yorkshire Post. 
 
“His record in high jumping currently stands at 85cm high. We hope to beat it in Harrogate.”
 
Tina Larsson from Borlänge, whose rabbits, Llse and Tora, are the reigning Swedish champions, told Sweden's TT agency that the sport was so far advanced in Sweden that it was barely worth competing against other countries.
 
"We cannot compete internationally against anyone, because we just wipe the board with them," she said. "The only country that comes anywhere near the Swedish level is Norway, thanks to the fact that Norwegians have been buying Swedish rabbits." 
 
Paul Threapleton, one of the event’s organisers, first invited the bunnies after seeing videos of them on YouTube.
 
“The first year they came to the show it was a huge success, and we’re looking forward to seeing them in action again,” he told the paper. 
 

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