Offbeat Animal Competitions

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If you find something fun to do with your pet, chances are there are others out there who enjoy it, too. You are most certainly familiar with horse racing, dog shows, and county fair livestock judging. But you may not be familiar with some of these animal competitions.

Dog scootering is an adaptation of dogsled racing for areas with no snow, where one or more dogs pull a scooter or kick bike. Dogs Across America is an annual relay event that welcomes dog scooterers, as well as bikejorers, sulky drivers and mushers (other dog-pulled conveyances). The relays will be held in different states in October, November, and December. If you are interested in dog scootering, you'll find an introduction to the sport at Sled Dog Central.
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If your dog would rather dance, Musical Canine Freestyle may be for you. People and dogs dance together to show off the dog's obedience, talent, and style. The World Canine Freestyle Association has information on competitions, training, and local organizations.

See a canine freestyle performance, and other animal competitions after the jump.

Carolyn Scott and Rookie are probably the best-known Freestylists on the internet, due to the video of their performance of You're the One that I Want. There are plenty of other canine performances available at YouTube.

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The town of Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales hosts the annual Man vs. Horse Marathon. The event was first held in 1980, but the first time a human won the 22-mile race was in 1989, when Tim Gould won riding a bicycle. Huw Lobb was the first man to beat the horses on foot, in 2004. In this year's race, two men beat the first horse! Green Events has more information and photos.

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You didn't know there were obstacle course competitions for bunnies, did you? Rabbit jumping began as a sport in the late 70s in Sweden. Rabbits compete in the straight course, crooked course, long jump, and high jump. Rasmus Bjerner has information, including instructions for training rabbits to hop. Watch a video of a rabbit hopping competition.

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Though not a sport involving pets, worm charming has been a competitive activity since 1980. The World Worm Charming Championship is held annually in Willaston, Cheshire, UK. Entrants are assigned a 3x3 meter plot, and have 30 minutes to draw worms out of the ground. Competitors use music, garden forks (but not to dig), and other implements to cause the ground to vibrate, which attracts worms. A similar event is held in Florida.

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July 19, 2007 - 1:00am
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