A bloody hard worker and a loyal friend is how Boorowa’s Oliver Adlington describes his dog Fly.
Oliver and Fly are competing in the 2018 Cobber Challenge, which will see twelve competitors from six states vie for the trophy and bragging rights of Australia’s top working dog.
For three weeks competitors will don GPS trackers and 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.
This will be the third year that the competition has been running for, but Oliver didn’t know about it until seeing a post on social media earlier this year.
“I saw it on Facebook a couple of times but didn’t take much notice at first,” Oliver said.
After reading more about the event and finally entering, Oliver said he didn’t expect to get selected until they called him up a couple of weeks ago, the day of his birthday, to say he’d been successful.
Oliver, 22, works on a property near Boorowa as a station hand and has put his own team of working dogs together, but it’s Fly who has become not only his best worker, but best friend.
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Each day Fly helps Oliver move sheep and he said the three-year-old, Kelpie cross Collie always tries her hardest.
He isn’t too nervous about the Challenge as they cover vast distances every day, and was more excited to start and see how they compare to the other competitors.
“I might be working on a bike and at the end of the day you see you’ve done 40 kilometres on it. But they (the farm dogs) probably do double that,” he said.
Oliver, originally from Mudgee, said the Cobber Challenge was a great way to show how much the dogs do.
“I think working dogs are under-recognised,” Oliver said.
“Fly is worth more than any bloke on a property.. she does just as much work.
“She’s just a bloody hard worker and she’s loyal.”
Fly is worth more than any bloke on a property.. she does just as much work.Oliver Adlington
The competition will run for three weeks from Monday, August 13 to Sunday, September 2.
For more information please visit www.cobberchallenge.com.au