Source AP ©

Rift over US jumping frog contest leads to rival competitions

A row between the organizers of a California county fair and those making arrangements for its annual jumping frog jubilee has led to plans for rival frog-hopping contests this year.

Citing losses due to the low turnout at last year's Calaveras County fair, organizers said they could not pay the for a club to oversee this year's jumping frog contest. The club has judged the jubilee since its inception in 1928.

Organizers invited it to judge this year's contest without pay, but the club decided instead to organize its own frog event that could compete with the fair's, said club member Bill Proctor.

The annual event, held from May 16-20 this year, is inspired by "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," Mark Twain's tale of a frog-jumping contest that is weighted in one gambler's favor when he secretly fills his opponent's frog with buckshot.

Thousands attend the five-day fair each year, which culminates in the competition featuring frogs from across the U.S. Winning frog owners get a US$750 (EUR562) prize or US$5,000 (EUR3,747) if their frog breaks the record of jumping 21 feet, 5ѕ inches, set by Rosie the Ribeter in 1986.

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