Fly­ing start

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

. . . 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.

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