Tassie team wins working dog challenge

November 1, 2017 BY

IT takes a big heart to run a marathon for three days straight but that is what it took for Flow to take out the 2017 Cobber Challenge.

Calling a sheep and beef property in the picturesque hills of Tasmania home, Flow is a six-year-old Kelpie.

During the three-week competition that tracked two dogs from each state as they went about their daily work, she clocked up a total of 716 kilometres, that’s 37.7 kilometres every day.

In the final week of the contest she ran 54.1 kilometres, 57.8 kilometres and 50.8 kilometres in three consecutive days, astounding even her owner, Fingal’s Brad McDonald.

“It’s been a bit of an eye-opener, it was pretty crazy seeing her complete three back-to-back marathons,” says proud owner Brad McDonald.

“I didn’t come into the competition wanting to win, but the best bit has really been seeing Flow give 100 per cent every day, she’s a little dog with a big heart and she doesn’t want to let anyone down.”

Over the course of the competition, Flow’s GPS collar reported an average of 37.7 kilometres each day.

Flow looked like a strong contender early on in the competition said Cobber Brand Manager Marika O’Leary.

“As distance travelled, duration and average speed was uploaded daily from each of the 12 dogs in the competition, it became apparent early on Flow was going to be a strong competitor.

“It was the first time we had Tassie dogs in the competition, and they sure put their best foot forward.

“Both Flow, and our other Tasmanian competitor Angel, really showed just how much effort the unsung heroes of Australian agriculture put in,” Ms O’Leary said.

When the competition concluded, and the GPS collars were turned off each dog Sunday night, Angel was sitting in third place on the leader board.

Owner Alex Gregory bred and trained Angel, and says seeing her develop into such a skilled dog that plays such a big part on the farm is hugely satisfying.

Second to Flow was Riley, from Kyogle in far north New South Wales with owner Bec Sneath admitting it wasn’t often New South Wales was pipped by Tasmania.

“But I’m proud of Riley, I’m a bit shocked with how much he does.

“After this competition, we will appreciate them so much more now knowing how hard they work.

“A few people have spoken to us and were amazed at how many kilometres Riley was doing, he’s worth his weight in gold.”

It’s a common theme from this year’s competitors, a newfound appreciation for the working dogs that play such a major role in every livestock farm.

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