The farm endurance athletes who run more than 50km each day

Daniel Pumpa and Turbo from Koorawatha in NSW have signed up for the contest. Photo: supplied.
Daniel Pumpa and Turbo from Koorawatha in NSW have signed up for the contest. Photo: supplied.

The farm endurance athletes taking part in a trans-Tasman competition for working dogs have been named.

Twelve dogs from throughout Australia and New Zealand will be fitted with a GPS collar to track their distance, working duration and speed over a three-week period.

In previous years, dogs have regularly clocked over 50km in a day.

Northern NSW station hand Glenda Rogan and her Kelpie-cross Buddy won the challenge last year, setting a record of 835km over the three weeks.

This year's Aussie competitors are: Antony Mulder and Narroonda Ritz (Prairie, Queensland), James Knight and Krui Snowy (Devon Park, Queensland), Daniel Pumpa and Turbo (Koorawatha, NSW), Emma Stocks and Koby (Coolac, NSW), Bradley Dunlop and Roxy (Wanganella, NSW), Rob Sibley and Boof (Kojonup, WA), Ben Jeffery and Skyblue Jack (Wannon, Victoria), James Leahy and Glenlyon Jill (Highlands, Victoria) and Bree How and Kit (Oatlands, Tasmania).

The Kiwi competitors are: Cam Clayton and Pine (Ashburton, Canterbury), Josh Tosh and Trix (Dipton, Southland), Peter Aitken and Spark (Millers Flat, Otago).

It is the first time in the six year history of the Cobber Challenge dogs from New Zealand will compete against their Australian counterparts.

Points are awarded and the dogs are ranked.

The challenge will run from August 16 to September 5.

Data is uploaded daily to the Cobber Challenge website so fans can follow the performance of individual dogs, as well as the best performing team.

New Zealand will be represented by three Heading Dogs (descended from Border Collies) - a new breed for the challenge which has historically been dominated by Kelpies, Border Collies and Coolies.

Stock manager Cam Clayton from Ashburton in Canterbury, New Zealand, says his dog Pine is his best mate.

"When the day is long and work is hard, Pine is always there and happy to work. I believe we have a really good chance to take out this competition," Mr Clayton said.

"I think we'll give the Aussies a run for their money."

Bradley Dunlop from Wanganella in NSW reckons Roxy can win it.

Bradley Dunlop from Wanganella in NSW reckons Roxy can win it.

As assistant manager on a lamb fattening operation, Daniel Pumpa and Turbo from Koorawatha in NSW are doing more stock work than ever, and will be marking lambs during the Cobber Challenge. Overcoming a broken back in 2017, this Kelpie is strong and fit enough to return for a comeback series.

"It's awesome to compete against the New Zealanders because it will show the differences between us and then in how we handle our dogs and ourselves."

Mr Pumpa thinks the Kiwis will be tough competition because they cast their dogs a lot more to cover steep country compared to many of the Australian competitors who take their dogs to stock on a motorbike.

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

The winner gets a year's supply of Cobber dog feed and $3000 to be spent on a working dog breeding program, training for a working dog or participation in working dog trials.

This story Farm endurance athletes running more than 50km a day first appeared on Farm Online.