WINNER: Flow the Kelpie put in three full marathons in three days to win this year's Cobber Challenge for working dogs.
WINNER: Flow the Kelpie put in three full marathons in three days to win this year's Cobber Challenge for working dogs. File

Tireless workmate a winner

RUNNING hundreds of kilometres each week is just part of the job for Tasmania's new champion working dog, Flow.

The six-year-old Kelpie owned by Brad McDonald beat entries from across the country to take out this year's Cobber Challenge.

Over the three-week competition, Flow travelled in total 716km doing stock work on a Fingal Valley property.

Fellow Tasmanian Alex Gregory and his dog, Angel, also performed well, placing third with a total of 514.7km.

The 12 dogs in this year's competition were fitted with GPS collars to track their daily movements.

On three consecutive days in the final competition week Flow travelled 54.1km, 57.8km and 50.8km. Overall she averaged 37.7km a day.

Mr McDonald said even though he knew Flow was a good dog, the results were a surprise.

"It was a real eye-opener,” he said.

Flow wearing the GPS tracker collar.
Flow wearing the GPS tracker collar. File

"When they're working, even in the yards they don't stop but I never realised how far they travel. I said if I'd have finished in the top five I would be over the moon, so I couldn't believe we'd won.”

Mr McDonald bought Flow when she was one year old for $300 and said no amount of money could tempt him to sell her.

"She is just a really good dog and her work ethic is amazing,” he said.

"I couldn't part with her now, she's pretty connected with me too and she just loves it, loves to work ... she has got a big heart.”

Mr McDonald has set up his own Ben Lomond kelpie stud and said good working dogs could make a huge difference.

"The old fellas used to say a good dog is worth 10 men and they were right,” he said.

On three consecutive days in the final competition week Flow travelled 54.1km, 57.8km and 50.8km. Overall she averaged 37.7km a day.

Mr McDonald said even though he knew Flow was a good dog, the results were a surprise.

"It was a real eye-opener,” he said.

"When they're working, even in the yards they don't stop, but I never realised how far they travel. I said if I'd have finished in the top five I would be over the moon, so I couldn't believe we'd won.”

Flow the kelpie and owner Brad McDonald work sheep on the farm.
Flow the kelpie and owner Brad McDonald work sheep on the farm. File

Mr McDonald bought Flow when she was one year old for $300 and said no amount of money could tempt him to sell her now.

"She is just a really good dog and her work ethic is amazing.

"I couldn't part with her now, she's pretty connected with me too and she just loves it, loves to work . . . she has got a big heart.”

Mr McDonald has set up his own Benlomond Kelpie stud and said good working dogs could make a huge difference.

The old fellas used to say a good dog is worth 10 men and they were right,” he said.



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