Ruby from Monto is currently in fourth place in the national Cobber Challenge. The contest to find Australia's toughest working dogs runs over three weeks.
Ruby from Monto is currently in fourth place in the national Cobber Challenge. The contest to find Australia's toughest working dogs runs over three weeks. Cobber Challenge

Ruby leads Qld pack in national working dog comp

HALFWAY through the fierce competition, the hunt to find Australia's toughest working dog is heating up.

Twelve hard working dogs have put in a marathon effort in the first week of the 2017 Cobber Challenge.

Leading Queensland competitor, Ruby from Monto, is currently fourth in the pack and is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

 

Ruby and her owner James.
Ruby and her owner James. Cobber Challenge

"Ruby is just doing her day to day thing," owner James Bargenquast said.

In her first week, Ruby ran multiple marathons back-to-back with an incredible total of 146km.

"She does everything I ask of her and that's because she's loyal to me ... And I'm pretty proud of that because I've trained her to be like that," Mr Bargenquast said.

Ruby's biggest rivals at the moment are Tasmanian dogs Angel and Flow and New South Wales' Riley.

But with two more weeks of running before the winner is crowned, the competition is far from over.

 

Ruby right after she took a dip in the river.
Ruby right after she took a dip in the river. Cobber Challenge

The annual Cobber Challenge tracks the dog's movements every day through a GPS collar to assess how far, fast and long they run while they work with their respective owners.

Each dog's owner sends the data collected by the collar's GPS to challenge officials so people can follow the competition day by day.

Cobber Brand Manager Marika O'Leary said the interest in entering this year's challenge was high, and the process to select the 12 dogs was tough.

The Challenge is ... a wonderful showcase of Australian rural life and highlight(s) the vital role working dogs play on every farm," she said.

To get more information, check out the website at www.cobberchallenge.com.au.



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