Twelve dogs from across Australia are gearing up to compete in the CobberChallenge to crown the country’s hardest working dog.

Each dog will wear a GPS collar to track how far, fast and for how long theywork over a three-week period.

In the fifth year of competition, the 2020 Cobber Challenge is shaking up itsformat, with favourite competitors from previous years to compete against fivenew contenders.

The 2020 Cobber Challenge: All Stars Vs Contenders will run from 17 August to6 September.

Each day of the competition, data is uploaded to the Cobber Challenge websiteso fans can follow the performance of their favourite dogs and team.

The 2016 Cobber Champion Damien Clifford and his Kelpie Larry are among theAll Stars.

Since winning the title, Damien has become livestock manager on a propertywith 9,000 ewes and a couple hundred cattle, and has expanded his own farm atWoorndoo Victoria. Larry has continued to excel on the farms, as well as inyard dog trials, where he has represented Victoria and qualified in the top 25Australia yard dog championship.

Damien is excited to see how Larry performs in the competition with this extraworkload.

At seven years old, Larry is the oldest dog in the competition. But Damiensays his loyal companion hasn’t slowed down.

“Larry is hard worker with a big heart – he just never stops,” Damien said.

The All Stars team also includes two friends from South Australia: MattScharkie and Sam McCarthy. We can’t wait to watch this friendly rivalry playout!

The All Stars won’t be able to rely on experience to seal the win, with anexciting line up for the Contenders.

Among them is Oliver Armstrong, a farm hand on a sheep, cattle and goatproperty at Bollon, Queensland. He’s entered three-year-old Kelpie, Roudy, whohe says is a hard-working dog who can’t sit still.

“Roudy will work all day just for a pat on the head and some food. I enteredthe Cobber Challenge to prove how hard working she is.” Oliver said.

“She is fast, agile, she loves to block up and she works on flat, red mulgacountry so she is very fit.”

Another new Contender is Pip Flower, a livestock overseer on a 20,000 acrefarm outside of Launceston, Tasmania. Pip has been working with dogs since shecame to Australia from the UK about 10 years ago. At 15 months old, her dogHurricane, or Hurri for short, is the youngest in the competition.

Pip often works the young Border Collie with two other dogs, and his staminaand ability to push stock has already made him a vital part of the team.

“Hurri does so many kilometres each day that I think he’ll do really well inthis competition,” Pip said.

Kellie Savage, Cobber’s Marketing Manager, said the number and quality ofnominations shows Australian farmers are eager to see their dogs recognisedfor the work they do.

“In the nominations, you could see how everyone values their dogs as part ofthe farm team and for their natural abilities and companionship,” Kellie said.

Cobber Working Dog Food will provide the fuel for these dogs, as it does forthousands of working dogs every day around the country.

For three weeks, the dogs will be scored based on distance, speed and durationof work per day with points accumulated based on daily activity to determinethe winner of the Cobber Challenge trophy.

“You can follow the performance of your favourite dog and on the Cobber Dog Facebook page,” Kellie said.

Competitors for the 2020 Cobber Challenge: All Stars Vs Contenders

All Stars

  • Glenda Rogan and Buddy, Copmanhurst NSW
  • Heidi Mulder and Socks, Prairie QLD
  • Matt Scharkie and Mitch, Terowie SA
  • Sam McCarthy and Max, Jamestown SA
  • Damien Clifford and Larry, Woorndoo VIC
  • Jack Febey and Monty, Epping Forest TAS
  • Bec Martin and Bruce, Moora WA


  • Jacinta Bradley and Digger, Tumbarumba NSW
  • Oliver Armstrong and Roudy, St George QLD
  • Skyla Milgate and Cub, Broadwater VIC
  • Pip Flower and Hurricane, Greater Launceston, TAS
  • Harrison Scott Park and Elsie, Badgingarra WA

*Unfortunately, none of the South Australian Contender nominations were eligible for the Cobber Challenge this year. For this reason, both of the South Australian competitors are All Stars.

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