Showjumping bunnies abound at Waikato Rabbit Club show
Whenever Basil gets loose in the garden, he goes looking for things to jump over.
The white rabbit, owned by Kawerau woman Kathy Davis, demonstrated brilliant form as he hopped his way over a series of jumps at the Waikato Rabbit Club show in Matangi on Saturday.
Along with show jumping, the show brought together about 60 rabbits from around the North Island, who were judged on ear placement, coat density and the shape of their head.
A separate competition awarded less serious accolades for the cutest, most senior and cuddliest rabbits.
Davis said some rabbits can jump up to over one metre, although the maximum height for jumps at the show would be 30 centimetres.
"It was more of a demonstration today but we're aiming to build up to a national cup in the long term.
"Most people probably think we're a bit nuts, but it's just lots of fun."
A fancy dress show was taken out by Colin, a Flemish Giant rabbit X Rex breed, who was dressed as a bumblebee.
"He's got a couple of suits but this one goes with bunnies in the garden," said his owner, Natalie Moynihan.
Colin, 5, was also named most macho rabbit in show and picked up the senior citizen award.
Show organiser Tracey Nunn said Waikato Rabbit Club has been around since the 1980s, and currently hosts up to four shows each year.
"[The rabbits] get split up into four sections to be judged, then we choose the best in show."
Rabbits aren't allowed to be feral, and the premium show usually attracts purebred rabbits, Nunn said.
Flemish Giant rabbit breeder Jan Newport currently owns 24 rabbits, including 11 babies. She spends about 20 minutes feeding them each morning.
"Per day, each one will eat one cup of nus, at least a napkin ring of grass, about the equivalent in hay, and half a carrot or quarter of an apple a something extra."
One-year-old Emma was about five kilograms, but Flemish Giants can weigh up to about 10kg.
Newport said she spends some time using a nylon brush to groom their fur before rabbit shows, and uses an emery board to file each rabbits nails.