It may sound weird, especially for professional horse riders, but it's a real and serious annual competition in Finland. Over 10,000 people are involved in hobby-horsing throughout the country. Most of them are girls between 10 and 18.
The Equestrian Federation of Finland organizes the event, which gathers thousands of spectators and hundreds of participants. There are several sub-categories in the competition, which include dressage and show jumping. The championship is held in the city of Seinäjoki, attracting hobby horse enthusiasts from all over the country. In addition to the Hobbyhorse Championship with ten disciplines, attendees can see several competition classes in show jumping and dressage, socialize, meet new friends, and enjoy various performances.
Seinäjoki Arena also features over 100 vendors. An impressive marketplace is spread over two halls. General admission to the Championship is 17 euros if purchased online. The family ticket grants entrance to two people over 25 years old and up to three children under 15 years old for a total price of 67 euros
All the hobby horses are hand-made by their owners and are given names. Sometimes horses are exchanged or even sold. The popularity of hobby-horsing is growing in other Nordic countries, as well as in the rest of Europe.