‘Hobby Horse’ enthusiasts convened in Vantaa, Finland at the end of last month to participate in the most embarrassing sport I’ve ever seen. Competitive cheese rolling has NOTHING on this. Competitive underwater basket weaving? Shit, I’d suggest that as a bachelor party activity before you ever caught me participating in this sport.
There were 200 participants and 1,000 spectators on hand for the annual Hobby Horse Championship. Essentially, this event mirrors an equestrian meet with jumping, dressage, etc. Only, instead of a human being riding a horse like God intended these people are out there running around, jumping over barriers, and holding a toy horse between their legs.
According to the description of this video from the Associated Press, most of the contestants in this year’s Hobby Horse Championship were girls. Here’s the most shocking thing about all of this:
Some 10,000 people are currently estimated to be involved in hobby-horsing in Finland, and its popularity is also growing steadily in the other Nordic countries and elsewhere in Europe, though the numbers are much smaller.
There are TEN THOUSAND PEOPLE out there in Finland riding these toy horses in competition. The population of Finland is over 5 million, so that’s a relatively small number compared to the broader population. But it’s still a disturbingly high number of people to be participating in ‘play toy horsey’.
Then again, maybe I’m missing out on something here. Perhaps these Finnish folk have figured life out and seen the light. Maybe it’s me who is standing in the dark, woefully ignorant of how glorious Hobby Horse competitions are….Maybe….