NZ farm dogs selected for Trans-Tasman top dog contest
North Canterbury sheep and beef farmer, Dean Gardiner, and his heading dog Dot have made the final 12 in the Cobber Challenge.
Three New Zealand farm-dogs and their owners have been selected to take part in this year's Cobber Challenge.
Run across the ditch, this is the third year New Zealand dogs have been able to enter the Trans-Tasman competition.
The 12 dogs will be fitted with a GPS tracker that records their distance travelled on farm and their speed for three months.
North Canterbury sheep and beef farmer, Dean Gardiner, and his heading dog Dot have made the final 12.
"Day to day, she puts plenty of work in so it will be cool to see the stats."
Gardiner has had Dot for about five years, she was his first heading dog after he lift university and began working on the family farm.
"She's my number one and she's great, she has a really nice temperament."
The other two New Zealand contestants are Ashton Clements and his dog Fern from Te Wharau and Kelsie Meads and heading dog Sas from Lake Colerdige.
Cobber's Marketing Manager, Kellie Savage said the new format of the Cobber Challenge is levelling the playing field for all Kelpies, Collies, Crosses and Heading Dogs.
"We know that a cattle station in the Northern Territory operates very differently to a sheep farm in Queenstown, so we've taken on board feedback from past competitors and extended the competition to ensure we capture every farm's busiest period.
"Selecting this year's finalists was an incredibly difficult task as we had the most farmers ever across Australia and New Zealand nominate their best mates and most valuable employees."
Savage said the final 112 represent a variety of breeds and experiences. "So we're so excited to see just what these finalists can do and we're confident that multiple records will be smashed by the 2023 cohort."
The 12 Cobber Challenge finalists for 2023 are:
1. Alex Johns of Fingal in Tasmania with their Kelpie, Earl
2. Ashton Clements of Te Wharau in New Zealand with their Heading Dog, Fern
3. Cloe Latty of Willaura in Victoria with their Kelpie, Jazz
4. Dan McInnes of Acheron in Victoria with their Kelpie, Jack
5. Dean Gardiner of Amberley in New Zealand with their Heading Dog, Dot
6. Declan Martin of Conmurra in South Australia with their Koolie, Pip
7. Demi Riordan of Esperance in Western Australia with their Kelpie, Garry
8. Holly Jessen of Woodhill in Queensland with their German Shorthaired Pointer Cross Kelpie,
9. Renee Hayter of Bombala in New South Wales with their Kelpie, Bat
10. Kelsie Meads of Lake Coleridge in New Zealand with their Heading Dog, Sass
11. Katie Williams of Uralla in New South Wales with their Border Collie, Scooter
12. Jackson Clifford of Mataranka in the Northern Territory with their Kelpie, Ros