NSW Kelpie-cross sets record to win national farm dog challenge

Working dog challenge winner a Kelpie-cross

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The winner of the 2020 Cobber Challenge, Buddy with his owner Glenda Rogan from Copmanhurst, NSW.

The winner of the 2020 Cobber Challenge, Buddy with his owner Glenda Rogan from Copmanhurst, NSW.

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Three dogs were still chasing the title of Australia's hardest working farm dog with 48 hours remaining in this year's Cobber Challenge.

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Three dogs were still chasing the title of Australia's hardest working farm dog with 48 hours remaining in this year's Cobber Challenge: All Stars Vs Contenders.

With only 67 kilometres separating them on Friday afternoon, WA's 'Elsie', Tasmania's 'Hurricane' and NSW's 'Buddy' were all hoping for a big weekend, with Kelpie-cross Buddy seizing the win at the final moment.

Winner Buddy and owner Glenda Rogan work on the family's beef cattle property at Copmanhurst in northern NSW.

The team set a new Cobber Challenge record, by doing 835 kilometres over the three-week competition.

The competition coincided with a busy three weeks for Buddy and Glenda including weaning calves and educating the young cattle.

They worked 98 hours, to record an average speed of 8.51km/h.

Buddy is one of 12 working dogs from around Australia that competed in the 2020 challenge.

The three-week competition saw dogs from each state wear GPS collars to track their distance, speed and working duration on farm.

This year, the challenge celebrated its five-year milestone by inviting back past competitors to take on new dogs in an All Stars Vs Contenders format.

Buddy's win is all the sweeter for All Star Glenda, after she finished in second place during her first attempt in 2018.

"I'm surprised by the kilometres they do, but I knew Buddy would be a strong competitor because he's got a great work ethic, he's a young, energetic dog, and he never gives up," she said.

"I couldn't do my job without a good dog."

The winner of the 2020 Cobber Challenge, Buddy, herding cattle.

The winner of the 2020 Cobber Challenge, Buddy, herding cattle.

Ms Rogan enjoyed competing for a second time in the Cobber Challenge, which celebrated the unsung heroes of Australian farms - working dogs.

She knew what was involved and that she'd have to keep up the work over the final weekend to cement her win.

"It's a privilege to have a dog like Buddy," she said.

Buddy and Ms Rogan are going to enjoy a few days off after the competition.

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Tasmania's Pip Flower and her 16-month-old Border Collie Hurricane came in second, narrowly beating WA's Harrison Scott and his Kelpie Elsie in third place.

"It was really fascinating to see how many kilometres Hurricane does," Ms Flower said.

"Previously I've estimated it based on the odometer on the motorbike but that doesn't capture him going backwards and forwards.

"He did double what I was expecting him to do; he's a ripper of a dog.

Cobber marketing manager and competition organiser Kellie Savage said the Cobber Challenge brings attention to the invaluable contribution working dogs made on Australian farms every day.

"Our farmers always tell us that a good dog is worth at least five workers," Ms Savage said.

"They don't just provide a safer, more efficient work environment, but there is an incredible mateship between farmers and their dogs."

You can see the final leaderboard and all the data on the competitors, here.

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The story NSW Kelpie-cross sets record to win national farm dog challenge first appeared on Farm Online.

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