Working Dogs Event Wagging Tail

By Olivia Condous

A farmer from Myrniong is about to have a great time in the inaugural Cobber Challenge Relay competition, which will be a queue-wagging event for all the four-legged friends involved.

Parwan Prime farmer Dane Simmonds will represent Victoria in the competition with two of his farm dogs, Ruby and Tully, aiming to win as the hardest working farm dogs in Australia and New Zealand.

The competition’s team challenge will see 12 teams compete for three weeks by tracking their dogs with a GPS collar while they are herding, to record their distance, speed and endurance.

Mr Simmonds, who has 12 working dogs on his farm, said he was looking forward to competing against other dogs across Australia and New Zealand and showing off the hard work of his dogs.

“They are fantastic working dogs, very intelligent and very, very loyal,” he said.

“Honestly, I couldn’t do my job without the dogs…they work very hard,

“But what’s really good about them…is the company they offer too.”

Mr Simmonds has a soft spot for his dogs, who live inside the house in a special “mud room” where they can rest and protect themselves from the cold.

At their home in Myrniong, Mr Simmonds and his wife have a menagerie of animals including goats, cattle, ducks, guinea fowl and chickens which co-exist alongside the dogs.

“[The dogs] know which animals they are allowed to hunt and they know which ones they are not allowed to hunt,” he said.

The 2022 Cobber Challenge Relay will run from August 22 to September 11, with fans able to follow on the website.

Bette C. Alvarado