Dog trainer Ben Coster named Cobber's NSW Ambassador

Spending regular time training your sheepdog is a key tip from Yass dog trial champion Ben Coster.

Cobber NSW Ambassador and Yass dog trial champion Ben Coster with puppy Wandabar Chip. Photo: supplied

Cobber NSW Ambassador and Yass dog trial champion Ben Coster with puppy Wandabar Chip. Photo: supplied

"If you don't put time into them, you don't get anything out of it," he said.

"I knock off work around 5/5.30pm and go and work with my young dogs for about an hour. So, all up I'm training them for about five or six hours a week and on weekends.

"I enjoy it. It's something else to work towards," he said.

Mr Coster was recently named Cobber's NSW Ambassador.

He owns about 20 working kelpie dogs at property Brooklands where he manages about 5000 cross-bred ewes.

Cobber, with the help of Delta Agribusiness in Yass, will provide a year's worth of feed for Mr Coster's puppies and dogs, so he can concentrate on getting across the country to the top trials.

"We travel a fair way. Probably go to 25 to 30 trials a year," he said.

For a trialler of only five years, Mr Coster has clocked up an impressive track record.

He won the Open Yard Dog Challenge in Tamworth in November and took out top honours at the Stock Dog Challenge at Mansfield in April.

Mr Coster will also head to the NSW championships in Wagga Wagga next year, after pre-qualifying in the Open Championship in Narromine a few weeks ago.

Wandabar Lucy was given to Mr Coster as a puppy by former colleague Andrew King. She was his first sheepdog and has been by his side ever since.

They scored 99 out of 100 at one of their first trials together at Wagga and she was there at the Tamworth and Mansfield trials.

Since Lucy, Mr Coster has been selecting bloodlines and now breeds and sells puppies through his company Wandabar Stockdogs.

"I like them with a lot of grunt, stamina and strength. That way they can work with cattle as well as sheep and get on with the job when there's a lot of sheep in the yards and I'm by myself," he said.

Mr Coster works the dogs all week to keep them calm at trials.

"A lot of dogs at trials aren't working and they're full of beans," he said.

"My dogs have to work first off. Then I'll work with them a bit more before the trial, make sure my sides and stops are right, so we do what we do at work but with a bit more finesse."

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