Taylor Chicken. Picture / Equipped
Hakatere Station shepherd Taylor Chicken, and his crew of huntaways and heading canines, is the lone Kiwi going up towards Australians within the first Cobber Problem Relay occasion.
Chicken (19), of Mount Somers, and his canine crew will vie for the title towards 11 others representing each state in Australia.
In Chicken’s canine crew, all play a task throughout a typical working day on the excessive nation station.
Kate, a 3-year-old huntaway is the mover within the crew, whereas Bruno, additionally a 3-year-old huntaway, goes the additional mile.
Chicken stated Kate was a yard canine, in addition to performing some paddock work.
“The heavy hitter within the crew, she has numerous punch and may transfer something.
“Bruno can go wherever and do something. He is an actual pure who was simple to coach. He is the principle mustering canine, and the one which will get me out of sticky conditions more often than not.”
Tom, a heading canine, is 2 years previous and described as “a hard-running heading canine”.
“Tom has all the time had a ardour for work. There’s nothing else he desires to be doing; he’ll fall over earlier than he stops working.”
And at last Moss, the senior member of the canine crew, is a 9-year-old heading canine.
“Regardless of the place you run Moss, you’ve gotten full confidence that he’ll carry the inventory to you,” Chicken stated.
At Hakatere Station, Chicken and the canines are used to loads of elevation work with sheep and cattle.
“We run 12,000 ewes, 800 cattle and an Angus bull stud at Hakatere Station, up within the mountains within the centre of New Zealand’s South Island. I have been working right here for a yr with 5 workers,” Chicken stated.
He began the canine crew at his final job.
“These are my 4 working canines. I’ve one other 4 younger canines which are doing a bit of labor. All my canines come to work with me each day; they’re mainly with me 24/7.
“The huntaway are the noise makers, and as their title suggests, they push inventory away; whereas the heading canines, they carry inventory to you.”
In earlier years, the Cobber Problem has showcased the efforts of particular person working canines, however this yr’s problem celebrates the teamwork that goes into working a farm; Hakatere Station inventory supervisor Cam Clayton and his heading canine Pine competed final yr.
The 12 working canine groups within the inaugural Cobber Problem Relay format recognise farmers typically work canines in groups or decide sure canines to do totally different duties, like mustering mobs of cattle or pushing sheep by means of yards.
Now in its seventh yr, the 2022 Cobber Problem Relay runs from August 22 to September 11.
Opponents like Chicken have nominated groups of two, three or 4 canines and every day in the course of the three-week competitors, one of many nominated canines will put on a GPS collar, to trace how far, quick and for the way lengthy they work.
The outcomes can be mixed to crown the successful crew.
The info is uploaded each day to the Cobber Problem web site so followers can observe together with their favorite working canine groups.
Cobber’s advertising and marketing supervisor Kellie Savage stated there have been many superb nominations this yr and people chosen spanned from Bodallin in Western Australia to Mount Somers in New Zealand, virtually 5000km.
“These groups showcase various kinds of farms and totally different breeds of canines. However one factor all of the groups share is a particular relationship between our entrants and their canines.”
The relay format would give individuals a greater sense of how farmers actually labored with their canines, Kellie stated.
“Once they’re out on the land, it is a crew effort.”
The canines can be scored based mostly on distance, velocity and length of labor per day with factors accrued based mostly on each day exercise to find out the winner of the Cobber Problem Relay trophy.
Individuals can observe the efficiency of their favorite working canine crew at cobberchallenge.com.au and on the Cobber Canine Fb web page.