Does your best mate have what it takes to win the 2023 Cobber Challenge? Farmers are being urged to show the nation how hard their dogs work by entering the search for the ultimate working dog.
Nominations are officially open for the contest that recognises the unsung heroes who keep Australia's agricultural sector moving: the "paws-itive" champions of the industry - the working dog.
In its 8th year, the Cobber Challenge will see a shortlist of 12 of the fastest and fiercest mustering champions battle out in a gruelling trans-Tasman contest.
Over three of their busiest weeks, a battle will take place between kelpies, collies and crosses, each fitted with a GPS tracker to record their performance.
The dogs will be required to demonstrate their finely honed skills, assessed on speed, duration and distance covered over the competition period.
The dog that clocks up the most kilometres will take home honour, glory and a cash prize, while each participant will receive a year's supply of 'Cobber Working Dog'.
Victorian Kelpie Skyblue Jack was the last winner of the contest, taking out the 2021 prize. He clocked a Cobber Challenge record of 1012.6 kilometres over the three-week period, working every day to record 87 hours worked and an average speed of 11.59 km/h.
That's an average of just over 4 hours and 48 km a day.
Kellie Savage from Cobber claims this year's competition will be a chance for farming communities to acknowledge the lifelong commitment of the working dog.
"Working dogs are more than man's best mate. They're also a farmer's colleague, partner-in-crime, and an extension of the family. They should be celebrated," Ms Savage said.
"In previous years, individual dogs have reached more than 50 kilometres in a single day, so we're excited about what this year's Cobber cohort will achieve."
All Australian and New Zealand farmers are encouraged to enter their beloved dogs in the challenge to prove they are the best of the best. Nominations are open for four weeks and will close on Sunday June 25. You can enter here.
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