Tigerlilly loves to be petted.

But she also had to perform on Sunday at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

With her long ears flopping with each jump, the Holland Lop made her way over hurdles along a 60-foot course.

Guided by local celebrities, she and five other bunnies bounced and battled for the top spot at the farm show's first-ever Celebrity Rabbit Hopping Competition.

Showing their independent spirits,the rabbits chose which hurdles to clear -- sometimes going straight through them or turning back around completely.

Hopping along: The jumps were up to 2 feet tall, but Tigerlilly can jump up to 24 inches -- just a few short of the country's record, said owner Christina Coder, 16, of Centre County.

State Sen. Pat Vance, R-Cumberland and York counties, left, and Maddie McFarland of Collegeville, lead Bentley the bunny through the hurdles during the
State Sen. Pat Vance, R-Cumberland and York counties, left, and Maddie McFarland of Collegeville, lead Bentley the bunny through the hurdles during the Celebrity Rabbit Hopping Competition at the 98th Annual Pennsylvania Farm Show, Sunday. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO-jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)

The bunny will be 2 on June 1, but she already made an impression at the American Rabbit Breeders Association's national convention in October.

"It was our first national competition," Coder said.

Tigerlilly placed second in the country in rabbit hopping, she said.

But under the guidance of WITF's Tim Lambert, she came in third in the farm show's competition, which was judged by audience members who voted on their favorite pairs.

Other celebrities in the competition included abc27 meteorologist Eric Finkenbinder, state Sen. Pat Vance, WGAL 8 meteorologist Matt Moore, state Rep. Patty Kim and First Lady of Pennsylvania Agriculture Christine Greig. Greig placed first.

Back next year?: To train Tigerlilly, Coder said she started with a simple pole on the ground, as hopping comes naturally for rabbits. Then, they begin to develop the muscle to hop higher -- but it also helps to have the personality for that, she said.

"She's just fun, outgoing, loves to explore, really high energy," Coder said.

For Robert Vaerewyck, 17, of Butler County and Nemo, his 11-pound Flemish Giant, it's all about positive reinforcement.

"Once you know how, it's a lot easier," he said.

The secret? Treats.

The competition, sponsored by the Pennsylvania State Rabbit Breeders Association, seemed to be a hit with hundreds of farm show attendees, who packed into the small arena to get a look at the event.

When mistress of ceremonies Jean Kummer asked the audience if they'd like the event to return next year, she was greeted by a substantial applause.

"I thought it was awesome," said Kummer, 4-H coordinator for Butler County.

She said it was encouraging to see families and children enjoy the show.

"I predict that we'll probably do it again next year," she said.

-- Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.