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Copmanhurst farmer Glenda Rogan and her Kelpie cross Buddy are thrilled to have won the 2020 Cobber Challenge which tests the endurance, work rate and speed of Australian working dogs: Image: Emma Pritchard

Buddy beats the best

Buddy beats the best
As he enjoys a well earned pat from his proud owner and breeder Glenda Rogan, Buddy knows he’s not just a good boy, he’s also a winner.

The handsome, two-year-old Kelpie cross has won the 2020 Cobber Challenge, an annual nation-wide competition which tests the endurance, work rate and speed of Australian working dogs.

Over a three-week period, Buddy, along with eleven other competitors from six different states, wore special GPS collars which tracked every pawprint as they worked alongside their owners on their respective properties.

At the end of each day, the data stored in the collar was uploaded onto the website.

During the competition, Buddy recorded an average speed of 8.51km/h and covered an impressive 835km in just under 100 hours as he and Ms Rogan spent their days working on the family’s beef cattle property at Copmanhurst.

Describing Buddy as “full of energy with a great work ethic”, Ms Rogan is thrilled to claim victory in the Cobber Challenge this year after finishing second in the event in 2018 with Jess, one of her other dogs.

To celebrate the five-year milestone of the Cobber Challenge, Ms Rogan was invited to participate in 2020 as a previous competitor against several new competitors in an All Stars verses Contenders format.

Buddy didn’t let her down.

“I’m very proud of Buddy, but I was pretty confident he’d have a good shot because he’s such a good working dog,” Ms Rogan said.

“He’s young, he’s got plenty of energy and he never gives up.

“It’s a privilege to have a dog like him.”

Ms Rogan said the important characteristics of a good working dog are having a dog that wants to work, be happy while working and be able to communicate.

“You have to have that connection,” Ms Rogan said, referring to Buddy.

“He knows what I want and I know what he’s thinking.”

During the competition, Ms Rogan said Buddy’s progress was eagerly followed online by their friends and family members who enjoyed checking in to see where Buddy was and what he was doing, courtesy of his special collar.

It wasn’t until the data from the last day of the competition was uploaded that Buddy was revealed as the overall winner on September 7.

Not only did the local Kelpie-cross cover 147.3km more than his nearest competitor, Buddy also topped the duration chart, having worked 25.5 hours more than the runner up.

Although she didn’t comment in regards to Buddy’s victory, Ms Rogan’s other dog and previous Cobber Challenge competitor Jess, was undoubtedly very proud of her fellow canine’s efforts.

As a pup, Buddy began his training in cattle work alongside the experienced, older Jess, who seemingly managed to pass on a few tips and words of encouragement.

Buddy’s recent success in his first competition is especially rewarding for Ms Rogan who invested a lot of time towards educating and training him to become the dedicated, hard working farm dog that he is today.

“I couldn’t do my job without a good dog,” Ms Rogan said.

2020 Cobber Challenge champion Buddy, proudly looks up at his owner and breeder Glenda Rogan of Copmanhurst, after winning the fifth running of the competition. Image: Emma Pritchard.