Cobber Stories & Media

NSW Kelpie-cross sets record to win national farm dog challenge

7 September 2020

Three dogs were still chasing the title of Australia’s hardest working farm dog with 48 hours remaining in this year’s Cobber Challenge: All Stars Vs Contenders.

With only 67 kilometres separating them on Friday afternoon, Western Australia’s ‘Elsie’, Tasmania’s ‘Hurricane’ and New South Wales’ ‘Buddy’ were all hoping for a big weekend, with Kelpie-cross Buddy seizing the win at the final moment.   

Winner Buddy and owner Glenda Rogan work on the family’s beef cattle property in northern NSW. The team set a new Cobber Challenge record, by doing 835 kilometres over the three-week competition.

The competition coincided with a busy three weeks for Buddy and Glenda including weaning calves and educating the young cattle. They worked 98 hours, to record an average speed of 8.51km/h.

Buddy is one of 12 working dogs from around Australia that competed in the 2020 Cobber Challenge: All Stars Vs Contenders. The three-week competition saw dogs from each state wear GPS collars to track their distance, speed and working duration on farm.

This year, the Cobber Challenge celebrated its five-year milestone by inviting back past competitors to take on new dogs in an All Stars Vs Contenders format.

Buddy’s win is all the sweeter for All Star Glenda, after she finished in second place during her first attempt in the 2018 Cobber Challenge.

“I’m surprised by the kilometres they do, but I knew Buddy would be a strong competitor because he’s got a great work ethic, he’s a young, energetic dog, and he never gives up,” Glenda said.

“I couldn’t do my job without a good dog.”

Glenda enjoyed competing for a second time in the Cobber Challenge, which celebrated the unsung heroes of Australian farms – working dogs. She knew what was involved and that she’d have to keep up the work over the final weekend to cement her win.

“It’s a privilege to have a dog like Buddy,” Glenda said.

Buddy and Glenda are going to enjoy a few days off after the competition.

Tasmania’s Pip Flower and her 16-month-olf Border Collie Hurricane came in second, narrowly beating Western Australia’s Harrison Scott and his Kelpie Elsie in third place.

“It was really fascinating to see how many kilometres Hurricane does,” Pip said.

“Previously I’ve estimated it based on the odometer on the motorbike but that doesn’t capture him going backwards and forwards. He did double what I was expecting him to do – he’s a ripper of a dog.”

“We love the Cobber Challenge because it brings attention to the invaluable contribution that working dogs make on Australian farms every day,” said Kellie Savage, competition organiser and Cobber Marketing Manager.

“Our farmers always tell us that a good dog is worth at least five workers. They don’t just provide a safer, more efficient work environment, but there is an incredible mateship between farmers and their dogs.”

Cobber Working Dog Food provides the fuel for the dogs competing in the Cobber Challenge as well as thousands of others working hard every day around the country.

Leaderboard for the 2020 Cobber Challenge: All Stars Vs Contenders

For the final data visit the online leaderboard. 

Glenda Rogan and Buddy, Copmanhurst NSW (All Star)
Pip Flower and Hurricane, Greater Launceston, TAS (Contender)
Harrison Park and Elsie, Badgingarra WA (Contender)
Bec Martin and Bruce, Moora WA (All Star)
Matt Scharkie and Mitch, Terowie SA* (All Star)
Damien Clifford and Larry, Woorndoo VIC (All Star)
Sam McCarthy and Max, Jamestown SA* (All Star)
Jack Febey and Whiskey, Epping Forest TAS (All Star)
Heidi Mulder and Socks, Prairie QLD (All Star)
Skyla Milgate and Cub, Broadwater VIC (Contender)
Jacinta Bradley and Digger, Tumbarumba NSW (Contender)
Oliver Armstrong and Roudy, St George QLD (Contender)

*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 were All Stars.

Media enquiries:
Laura Griffin at or 0400 170 663.

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