Find out why chil­dren across West Dun­bar­ton­shire are hot to trot for new craze:

Lennox Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Carla Tal­bot

An un­usual sport­ing craze has trot­ted into West Dun­bar­ton­shire — and those be­hind it are jump­ing mad about it.

The bizarre sport in­volves poise, stamina, bound­ing over hur­dles — and a fake horse head.

Known as hob­by­hors­ing, it mim­ics tra­di­tional eques­trian events, such as showjump­ing and dres­sage.

But rather than ride an ac­tual horse, com­peti­tors strad­dle a horse head on a long stick.

The unique ac­tiv­ity was launched by West Dun­bar­ton­shire Leisure this week — with young­sters at Carousel Nurs­ery in Dum­bar­ton get­ting to try it out first.

Staff at WD Leisure were ex­cited to launch the un­usual hob­by­hors­ing classes, af­ter be­ing in­tro­duced to the sport by Sports De­vel­op­ment co­or­di­na­tor Tommi Oris­maa, who is orig­i­nally from Fin­land.

The craze be­gan in the Scan­di­na­vian coun­try and has taken the coun­try by storm, with over 10,000 chil­dren be­tween the ages of 10 and 18 pony­ing up to the sport. It has be­come a pop­u­lar com­pe­ti­tion event in Fin­land, with 200 peo­ple tak­ing part in events ev­ery year where they com­pete in tra­di­tional eques­trian events.

The sports coach — who has worked with WD Leisure for 26 years — learned about the sport from his home­land and de­cided it would be a great op­por­tu­nity for West Dun­bar­ton­shire chil­dren to try out some­thing dif­fer­ent.

They are hop­ing to even­tu­ally in­tro­duce it to nurs­eries across the district and get as many chil­dren tak­ing part as pos­si­ble.

He told the Lennox Her­ald: “I thought it was a fan­tas­tic idea when I saw it. We watched a few videos from Fin­land where it is very pop­u­lar and we loved it.

“We’ve been re­ally ex­cited to get it up and run­ning and get kids tak­ing part. It’s some­thing to­tally dif­fer­ent than what we have done be­fore.”

The first of­fi­cial class last Fri­day was a huge hit, with tots at Carousel Nurs­ery jump­ing right into ac­tion with WD Leisure coach Laura Gray.

On your mark­sThe chil­dren and their hobby horses get ready to race Hot to trot The chil­dren at Carousel Nurs­ery got to try out the hob­by­hors­ing craze which has been launched by WD Leisure — and ev­ery one of the kids loved get­ting the chance to get in the sad­dle and race for fun The fi­nal fur­long One horse takes the lead

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