NORTHERN Echo photographer Sarah Caldecott saw off competition from around the world to win a coveted Kennel Club photography award.

This year's Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year competition received almost 10,000 entries from 74 different countries including Canada, Russia, Brazil and New Zealand.

The Northern Echo's own Sarah Caldecott from Ingleton, near Darlington, entered her image 'Rita the Pointer' bounding across the County Durham moors and was delighted to be chosen as winner of the ‘Dogs at Work’ category.

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The Northern Echo:

WINNER: Photographer Sarah Caldecott

Mrs Caldecott, who has almost 20-years of professional photography experience, developed a love of dog photography after becoming the proud owner of Hungarian Vizslas Poppy and Darcey.

She said: “To win the 'Working Dog' category in the Dog Photographer of the Year competition is a great honour, especially knowing how many entries it had this year.

“I have been a press photographer for almost 20-years.

"Since getting Poppy our first Hungarian Vizsla seven years ago my love for dog photography has grown immensely, and through it I have made many new friends who have helped me along the way.

"The image of 'Rita the Pointer' was taken in February this year on a rather dark and wet day on the moors in County Durham.

"I particularly loved watching the Pointer, her movement across the moor was so graceful and that is what I wanted to capture, and in the end I think the weather made it a little more atmospheric.”

Other category winners included pictures submitted from the USA, Russia, and the Netherlands.

The overall winner was Maria Davison from Portugal who won both the ‘Man’s Best Friend’ category and ‘Overall Winner’ prize with her image of a weary puppy.