Spalding High School student Lara and her dog Browse wow the judges at this year's Crufts
A special bond between 15-year-old Lara Pavitt and her Australian Shepherd dog Browse, led them all the way to Crufts - and they came home as winners.
Browse competed in the Basic and Novice Obedience Young Kennel Club (YKC) finals at the competition held at the Birmingham NEC this month.
And Lara, who is a student at Spalding High School, and lives in Holbeach Drove, was thrilled when he came 6th in Basic, 9th in Novice - and won the Rally competition.
Lara's mum, Hilary, said: "Browse is an 11-year-old Australian Shepherd Dog that we rehomed three years ago when he was returned to his breeder. His younger nephew, Bobbie, also lives with us and they get on really well.
"Lara loves animals and was excited to have her own dog. She bonded quickly with Browse and took an interest in obedience and rally (a form of obedience where you follow a course of signs), and started taking him to obedience classes run by Nicky Cracknell at Sutterton and rally classes run by Lorraine Flett at Holbeach.
"She has also attended activity weekends with the Young Kennel Club where she was introduced to handling, agility, Flyball and Heelwork to Music, proving you can teach an old dog new tricks!
"After visiting Crufts for the first time last year and watching the YKC competitions, Lara decided she wanted to try and qualify for Crufts 2019 with Browse. So last summer we attended dog shows that held YKC qualifiers and within two shows she had qualified for both the Basic and Novice Obedience YKC Finals at Crufts and, to top it all, she was invited to take part in the first YKC Rally competition.
"Lara didn’t expect to win anything. She just wanted to enjoy the experience. She was both nervous and excited but was overjoyed to come 6th in Basic and 9th in Novice - but the biggest surprise was to be the winner of the Rally competition!
"Lara wants to continue training Browse as they both enjoy it. Last year she had lots of success at obedience and rally shows competing against adults and their dogs and she is looking forward to attending more shows in 2019 and maybe Crufts next year!"