Hobby horse fans show off their skills in Finland

Organizers say "the biggest hobby horse event in the world" has taken place in a Finnish town that is hosting the annual national championships in this sport by teen girls who simulate the gymnastic elements of real-life horseback riding.

Elviira Sarakoski of the Finnish Hobby Horse Association told The Associated Press on Saturday that some 400 participants with self-made "horses" and over 2,500 spectators took part in the event at a sports arena in Seinajoki in western Finland.

The mostly 10-to-18-year-old girls and teens galloped, jumped and pranced with a stuffed horse head on a wooden stick in the physically demanding competition, which included dressage, show jumping and a Western horsemanship section complete with barrel racing modeled after North American rodeos.