AP PHOTOS: Russian kids ride sticks with a horse's head in hobby horsing competition

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Several dozen kids — 48 girls and one boy, from first-graders to teenagers — gathered recently at a gymnasium in northern St. Petersburg for a hobby horsing competition. The event looked exactly like a proper equestrian competition, but instead of a horse they rode a stick with a horse’s head.

Hobby horsing aficionados say one can buy a stick horse or make one from scratch.

The Russian Federation of Hobby Horsing, which organized the competition, says on its website that the discipline comes from Finland and that it’s more of a grassroots movement rather than a professional sport.

Yet, there are still tournaments, couches and judges, and participants have to abide by the rules of horse-riding competitions.