. . . Molka’s Ben Harrison has entered his three-year-old kelpie Fly into the 2018 Cobber Working Dog Challenge. Fly is a keen worker and is often seen on top of the sheep when he should be herding them from behind. Two dogs from each state have been selected for the challenge, which will see them wear a GPS collar for three weeks to track how hard they work on their farms. The competitors will be scored based on distance, speed and duration of work each day.
Molka sheep farmer Ben Harrison and his dog Fly are set to put the small northern Victorian town on the map in August and September when Fly competes in the 2018 Cobber Working Dog Challenge. Fly, a three-year-old kelpie, loves working but on multiple occasions has been in the wrong place at the right time. Mr Harrison says Fly has a good cast and many good features that assist his working ability. How did Fly get his name?
He was named Fly before I got him. I bought him from James Fowler, who named him Fly. Has he ever had an injury?
He’s had a few cuts and scrapes going over the barbed wire fence. He is too keen to jump — he needs to learn how to go under. He’s had the odd bindi-eye in the summer months. What’s his working ability like?
He’s probably better in the paddock but he loves the yard. He’s a good worker, a really good worker. He runs all day. He’s reliable, he’s got a good wide cast and a good stop on him and he loves backing up the race. What are his best qualities?
He is loyal and hardworking. He’d back Friesian cows if you asked him to. His cast and his ability to bark and back are his best features. Has he had any mishaps while working?
When in the yards, he’ll fly up the race, turn around to go back under them (sheep) and gets barrelled by the next ewe coming along. How obedient is Fly? There have been multiple times when he should be at the back of the mob and I turn around and he is sitting on top of them. Where does he sleep?
He sleeps in a kennel beside his two mates Dingo and Rake. How do they get on?
He and Dingo are best mates. He and Rake are good work acquaintances. Fly tends to annoy the s**t out of Rake. He chases him around. Why did you enter Fly in the working dog challenge?
It was recommended, by a friend of mine that had seen Fly work, that I should enter the competition. What do you think his chances are?
I reckon he’s got a good chance. He does a lot of running and the competition falls when we have a lot of sheep work to do. He’s quick and he loves working. Words and pictures: Rodney Woods
Flying start . . . Fly getting ready to cast (above). Mr Harrison thinks Fly will do well in the competition because of his speed (below).
Ready to run . . . Molka’s Ben Harrison and his dog Fly. Fly will compete in the 2018 Cobber Working Dog Challenge.