A sport you probably never heard of is taking steps to change that by holding its first official championship tournament this month in the Flemish city of Mechelen, Belgium.
In case you think it's only nursery fun for toddlers, you should know there are three age classes, one for 5-10 yearp-olds, one for 11-16 and one for 17-79. It's not clear why octagenarians are banned. Participants dress up and ride hobbyhorses over an obstacle course, and are rated on errors, originality and style.
The obstacles range in height from 20cm for the youngest group to 90 for the adults. Hobbyhorses must be at least 60 cm long and have a horse-like head; after that, anything goes.
The event is sponsored by the Flemish Equestrian League, which says that “In Finland, Sweden and Germany, ‘hobbyhorsing’ has been popular for several years. The sport is practised by thousands of teenagers. Flanders cannot stay behind, which is why we are organising an official hobby riding competition for the first time.”