A tortoise beat a rabbit in a skiing competition held for pets and their owners in China, a report said on Tuesday.

Cats and dogs faced off against a menagerie including a rooster and a yellow duck in a race to the finish line on snowy slopes in Henan province, the state-run China News Service said.

The 40 human competitors were allowed to place their animals on skis or sledges, or could guide the pet with a lead while skiing, the report said.

In an unexpected outcome akin to an ancient Greek fable, a tortoise beat a rabbit, with the shelled reptile eventually claiming third place overall, the report said.

"Because the rabbit loved jumping and didn't follow its owner's commands, it was overtaken by the tortoise," it said.

The tortoise -- which would normally be expected to hibernate during the winter -- apparently hitched a ride on its owner's ski equipment, the report added.

Pictures showed a yellow duck taking to the slopes in a fetching red neck tie, attracting curious stares from two dogs, before being held aloft by its owner who clutched a red certificate of honour after it waddled over the finish line -- even though it finished last overall.

The bird's "spirit of persistence rendered onlookers speechless with admiration", the report said.

Skiing has become more popular in China in recent years, with a range of slopes opening across the country's cold north, and it is bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The bid, though, faces a number of challenges, not least that Asia will host both the 2018 winter Games in South Korea's Pyeongchang and the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo.

The U.S. state of California plays host to an annual dog-surfing competition, and a Chinese farmer made headlines in 2012 for training pigs to dive from a three-metre platform.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • 14 Baby Pandas In China

    In September, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/09/23/baby-pandas-china_n_3977091.html" target="_blank">China's Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding said hello to 14 new baby pandas</a>. In total, 20 cubs were born at the breeding base and 17 survived this year.

  • Snoopybabe

    China's Snoopybabe was one of this year's biggest Internet sensations. Its fluffy face was even <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2449836/Is-Snoopybabe-cutest-cat-internet.html" target="_blank">debated as one of the cutest cats online ever.</a> We have to agree.

  • The Penguin That Wore Shoes

    Akemi, a cute little penguin at the Calgary Zoo (who has since died), made headlines this year after getting a <a href="http://www.calgaryzoo.com/keep-it-wild/calgary-zoos-shoe-wearing-penguin-makes-splash-re-opening" target="_blank">pair of cozies after suffering from a bacterial foot infection. </a>

  • The Bunny That Loves To Take Sink Baths

    Earlier this year, we wrote about this <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/07/bunny-bath-sleep-sink_n_3405087.html" target="_blank">adorable bunny named Cloody who enjoyed taking sink baths</a> with his eyes closed. This is the true definition of relaxation.

  • The Abused Lion, Tiger And Bear Family

    Three victims of animal cruelty, an American black bear, a Bengal tiger and an African lion all became best friends. The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/03/lion-tiger-bear-negligence_n_4374091.html" target="_blank">animals were previously owned by an abusive drug dealer and now live in an animal sanctuary.</a>

  • The Duck That Couldn't Stay Awake

    In May we met this tired little duckling who had the <a href="http://jezebel.com/tired-duckling-trying-to-stay-awake-just-may-be-the-ult-489698188" target="_blank">hardest time staying awake.</a> Oh, and his name is Dexter.

  • The Pug In A Suit

    In May, we also read about this cute pug (in a suit) who was the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/wedding-dogs_n_3248122.html" target="_blank">best man at his owner's wedding. </a>

  • The Talking Porcupine Named Teddy Bear

    Ever wonder what a porcupine sounds like? <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/27/teddy-bear-porcupine_n_4505334.html?utm_hp_ref=animals" target="_blank">A little bit like this.</a> Meet Teddy Bear, an 'animal ambassador' with Dallas-based wildlife education company Zooniversity.

  • Human Wall Guides Baby Turtles To Sea

    This summer, we also read a heartwarming story about several volunteers who formed a human wall on a beach in the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/03/human-wall-sea-turtles-bonaire-photo_n_3540504.html" target="_blank">Caribbean island of Bonaire, to help around 100 baby turtles get back to sea. </a>

  • Chris. P Bacon, The Most Charming Pig Ever

    In 2013, we also met Chris. P Bacon, a baby pig born without the use of his back leg and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/05/chris-p-bacon-disabled-pig-wheelchair_n_2626078.html" target="_blank">received his own customized wheelchair. </a> These days P Bacon rolls around advocated for disabled pets everywhere.

  • The Dog That Attended Mass Every Day

    Ciccio, a 7-year-old German Shepherd in Italy, attending church mass every single day after losing his owner. Sources say the dog's owner, Maria Margherita Lochi, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/20/ciccio-the-dog-attends-ma_n_2511351.html" target="_blank">used to go to church every day with Ciccio. </a>

  • The Dog Lion

    In August we also heard about a zoo in China that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/chinese-zoo-dog-lion_n_3761333.html" target="_blank">placed these furry dogs in lion cages</a> while the actual lions were off breeding. Even though a lot of zoo visitors felt cheated (hey, we would too), we still found it hilarious.

  • Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Bulldogs

    Lastly, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/20/bulldog-compilation-_n_4123098.html" target="_blank">every single one of these bulldogs.</a>