Nominations are now open for the 2017 Cobber Challenge, pitting dogs 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.
Organisers are looking for more entries from SA before the cut-off date on July 23. Last year there was one entry from the region, from Greenways.
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 year’s worth of Cobber.
“Being a part of the challenge was not only fun, but it helped showcase Larry’s hard work,” Damien said. “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 60km in one day.
“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 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 50km per day consecutively. It’s our hope that the Challenge shines a light on the contributions of working dogs to our nation.”
This year, the competition is expected to run from August 28 to September 17. 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.
Nominations close on July 23. To find out how to nominate yourself visit www.cobberchallenge.com.au.