From Sam Wright's cattle property south-west of Mackay four-year-old kelpie, Bonnie could be crowned Australia's hardest working dog as part of the annual Cobber Challenge.
From Sam Wright's cattle property south-west of Mackay four-year-old kelpie, Bonnie could be crowned Australia's hardest working dog as part of the annual Cobber Challenge. Contributed

Mackay's hardest working dog could take out national title

RUNNING around a cattle property south-west of Mackay is one of Australia's hardest working dogs.

Three and a half years ago Mackay region grazier Sam Wright first brought in his four-month old kelpie puppy Bonnie into his home.

Even as a puppy, Mr Wright said it was clear Bonnie had a lot of natural talent. He said it was not long before the young pup became an indispensable worker on their property, rising to become the "top dog” in the family's team of 14 working hounds.

Almost every day, Bonnie is out in the paddock rounding up cattle. Mr Wright said she covered a few kilometres every day.

Sam Wright believes his four-year-old kelpie Bonnie, who works on his cattle property south-west of Mackay, could be crowned Australia's hardest working dog as part of the annual Cobber Challenge.
Sam Wright believes his four-year-old kelpie Bonnie, who works on his cattle property south-west of Mackay, could be crowned Australia's hardest working dog as part of the annual Cobber Challenge. Contributed

He said he believed Bonnie was one of the hardest working dogs in Australia - and next month she will have the opportunity to prove it.

Bonnie is one of 12 dogs from six states who have been selected to compete in the fourth year of the Cobber Challenge.

Over three weeks, the 12 farm dogs will each wear a GPS collar to track how far, fast and for how long they work.

Last year a Victorian kelpie Boof won the competition after clocking an impressive total distance of 638.1 kilometres and average speed of 10.62 km/h.

After four years of running the competition, Cobber said southern states and kelpies had dominated the competition.

From Sam Wright's cattle property south-west of Mackay four-year-old kelpie, Bonnie could be crowned Australia's hardest working dog as part of the annual Cobber Challenge.
From Sam Wright's cattle property south-west of Mackay four-year-old kelpie, Bonnie could be crowned Australia's hardest working dog as part of the annual Cobber Challenge. Contributed

But Cobber producer Ridley's group marketing manager Ian Moore said the size of the properties meant the Queensland working dogs would mount a tough competition for the southern states.

He said the number and quality of nominations demonstrated the keenness of Aussie farmers to recognise their dogs for the work they do.

"We had nominations from across the country and you could clearly see how everyone values their dogs for the work they do as part of the farm team, their natural herding instincts, and for their mateship,” Mr Moore said.

Mr Wright said he knew how hard Bonnie worked and hoped the competition might give her the recognition she deserved.

"She's more than ready to prove herself in the Cobber Challenge,” he said.

The competition will begin on Monday August 12 and run until Sunday September 1.

The winner of the Cobber Challenge trophy will be determined based on the daily points scores, which take into account distance, speed and duration of work per day

To follow the competition visit www.cobberchallenge.com.au or the Cobber dog Facebook page.



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