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Search for Australia’s hardest working dog begins

Article Category  Dimboola Courier > Community Interest
Date Published  Friday, July 7 2017
Author  AAP Medianet

Search for Australia’s hardest working dog begins
Nominations are now open for the 2017 Cobber Challenge that will place dogs across the nation against each other in a competition of endurance and speed to find Australia’s hardest working dog.

Organised by nutritional dog food specialists Ridley, the Cobber Challenge will see dogs from each state compete in their natural environment. GPS collars will be fitted to competing dogs for three weeks, tracking and scoring their running distance, duration and top speed. Results will be uploaded daily to www.cobberchallenge.com.au so people around the country can follow the performance of their favourite dogs compared to their rivals throughout the country.

Ridley launched the inaugural Cobber Challenge last year, named after its leading dog food brand, Cobber. The 2016 Challenge saw eight working dogs from NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia compete. Over the three-week competition, Victorian Damien Clifford and his kelpie dog Larry beat out fierce competition to become the first Cobber Champions, receiving a years’ worth of Cobber.

"Being a part of the challenge was not only fun, but it helped showcase Larry’s hard work. We always knew how much he contributed to the farm, but it’s different when you see the numbers and see him clock up over 60 kilometres in one day," said Mr Clifford.

"Participating in and winning the Cobber Challenge was rewarding for me as someone who loves his dog, and Larry couldn’t be happier with his new bags of Cobber feed."

Australian working dogs are often the unsung heroes on Australian farms. In the quest to seek out Australia’s hardest working dog, the Cobber Challenge also hopes to highlight how vital working dogs are to farming teams.

"As providers of premium dog food, with a range specifically targeted at working dogs, we understand how much work these dogs power through each day. We have to tailor the nutrition of our dog food to enable these dogs to perform at an elite level," said David Nash, Ridley Group Manager, Nutrition and Quality.

"Last year’s Cobber Challenge saw competing dogs running back to back marathons, with some running more than 50 km per day consecutively. It’s our hope that the Challenge shines a light on the contributions of working dogs to our nation."

Pictured above is last year’s runner-up, Victorian competitor Rex owned by Jandre Slabbert. - Photo courtesy of AAP Medianet

This year, the competition is expected to run from 28 August to 17 September 2017. Working dog owners from all parts of Australia are encouraged to nominate their elite dog for the challenge to have a chance to be crowned Australia’s hardest working dog.

To find out how to nominate yourself click here. Nominations close on 23 July.

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