Hobby Horse Championships Ride Into Finland

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They might not physically have all the horsepower, but that doesn't stop these horses from galloping around.

On Saturday, Finland held its eighth annual Hobby Horse Championships, where 400 riders competed against each other on toy horses, inspired by actual equestrian sports.

The riders are mostly girls, ages 10 to 18.

The competition showcases traditional equestrian events, like show jumping and dressing.

"There were just these girls who made things with real horses, and then they like invented these hobby-horses and then they started doing them and we started figuring out the competition and we started organizing them,” hobby horse competitor Aquata Kirveskari told Caters. "And then at some point we figured out that we could have the Finnish championships, because real horses have too, so then it kind of started."

The sport is gaining popularity. More than 2,500 people came to take in the sights.

According to The Associated Press, Finland has more than 10,000 hobby horse aficionados. They say they’re glad their hobby is getting such attention.

"I think that it's really great that they [media] participate in this because they can show this hobby isn't just childish playing around, this is a serious competition, and they can show it to people all around the world. And it's really important that many people see the different side of this and don't just think we are just 5-year old girls running around with their sticky horses," Kirveskari said.

The highlight of the event? Finland scored their new high horse jumping record at 4 feet, 7 inches.


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