WINNERS of the regional rally competition at Crufts included two women from our area.

Janet Auton, from Bishops Lydeard, with her dog Finn, and Ruth Allingham, of West Somerset, with Amber, were among the seven competitors in the South and South West team in the inter-regional contest.

The competition involves dogs being guided through a series of skills tests by their handlers, with Janet competing at level four and Ruth at level 6.

Mrs Auton said team manager Jenny Butters and her assistants Lesley Peters and Simone Lynch gave a pep talk to the team to enjoy the experience.

She added: "To win the competition was the icing on the cake for everyone involved and that includes all our helpers on the day.

"It was an experience I never thought Finn and I would have. He is one special dog.

"Rally is a fun activity to take part in, which builds your bond and partnership with your dog regardless of whether you want to compete or not.

"In rally you can talk to your dog as you work around the course which is made up of various exercise signs known as stations."

Mrs Auton teaches rally classes twice a week - for details contact her on 07790-996791 or 01823-432334 or e-mail