Bizarre skiing with your pet race in China descends into farce as hibernating turtle fails to wake up
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By Ted Thornhill
PUBLISHED: 07:32 EST, 13 January 2014 | UPDATED: 07:50 EST, 13 January 2014
Animal-rights campaigners are calling for a ban on a repeat of a pet ski competition in which winter sports enthusiasts in China are encouraged to bring along an animal in order to compete for prizes.
The more bizarre the pet, the more points the owner was given in the contest held at Sanmenxia in central China’s Henan province.
As well as dogs and cats there were even rabbits, tortoises, chickens and ducks.
A contestant skis with his pet duck during a skiing with pets competition at a ski resort in Sanmenxia, Henan province
Animal-rights campaigners are calling for a ban on a repeat of the pet ski competition
The tortoise which normally should be hibernating at this time of year failed to come out of it shell and the cats, ducks and the chickens spent most of their time trying to go in whatever direction was as far away from the dogs as possible.
But the display still attracted a large number of watchers who cheered the animals on for the bizarre stunt.
The tortoise came in third ahead of the rabbit after it was strapped onto a snowboard, and the duck took first place after using its wings to get ahead of the skiers and away from the dogs.
Ruff treatment: The dogs assemble before the race
Two dogs entered in the competition and wrapped in body warmers are carried by their owner
Organisers defended the event that attracted 40 pet owners as ‘harmless fun’ and added that they planned to stage it again next year and hopefully have even more bizarre pets.
A spokesman said: ‘Anything goes, we even had a goldfish this year but decided not to let it take part because the fishbowl was not watertight and we feared the fish could have been spilled onto the snow.’
The pets are guided on the snow by their owners
Pre-race anticipation: The duck, chicken and two dogs get to know each other
Leaping ahead: A rabbit warms up for the event