Cobber Challenge Relay is back again for its seventh year, but this time, there’s a twist.
The wildly popular competition, which previously focused on the skills of individual dogs, is now emphasising the teamwork that goes into running a successful farm. This year’s challenge will feature 12 working dog teams, representing each state in Australia, as well as New Zealand. The program has been designed in relay format, in the hopes of recognising that farmers often pick different dogs for different tasks.
This year, the challenge will be running from Monday 22 August to Sunday 11 September. Every farmer has selected between two and four dogs for their team, made up of the best talent on offer. Each day, the farmer will pick one dog from their team to wear a GPS collar. This will track how far, fast, and for how long they work. The results are then combined to reveal the winning team.
For those wishing to follow along, the data is uploaded daily to the Cobber Challenge website. You can root for your favourite team, or be astounded by the amount of hard work and effort that our furry friends put in to keep our farms running.
This year, the farmers competing for the prize are as strong as ever. According to Kellie Savage, Cobber’s marketing manager, “we had so many amazing nominations this year.”
“These teams showcase different types of farms and different breeds of dogs. But one thing all the teams share is a special relationship between our entrants and their dogs,” says Kellie.
And he’s not wrong. The talent in the 2022 competition is of an extremely high calibre. Genine Jackson, the farmer representing Queensland, has a very special bond with her team of dogs. After a terrible horse riding accident in 2020, she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to continue mustering cattle on her family’s station near Charters Towers. But, thanks to her working dogs, who were trained to understand a greater range of commands, her independence was restored
And this was mostly thanks to her dog, Turbo.
“Turbo is the dog that trained me, then trained my other dogs. Dogs have helped me accomplish much more than I ever thought I could,” Genine says.
Sadly, Turbo passed away recently, but Genine has named her group “Team Turbo” in his honour.
A strong competitor from NSW, Nick Foster believes family is the most important thing.
“They are a part of my family, and they love my kids. Every day they get off work, they go find my kids.”
In fact, Nick’s whole team is a family affair. All four of his Kelpies are related, and ready to show what they’ve got.
And, in New Zealand, 19 year old Taylor Bird is proving that age is only a number. His team of four dogs are ready to give the competition everything they’ve got.
Clearly, the Cobber Challenge Relay is going to be bigger and better than ever. With Cobber Working Dog food providing fuel for all of the talented dogs, those following along over the three week challenge are guaranteed to be amazed by the determination and will of our farmers and their animals.
Can’t get enough of the Cobber Challenge Relay? Discover more about the amazing talents of Aussie dogs here.