A DOTING dog owner has said she felt 'pure elation' when her flexible friend won a place in the finals of a national agility competition.

Alison Trotman could not believe her eyes when her German shorthaired pointer Sieger won a first place in the semi-finals this month.

The pair will now go on to compete in the national finals of the Kennel Club contest in London in October.

Mrs Trotman, 60, from Thame, said: "As a relative newcomer to dog agility, my initial feeling when I won was disbelief which quickly turned into pure elation.

"It was the most fantastic feeling when all the training, hard work and fun that goes hand in hand with dog agility comes together in a brief special moment that recognises the teamwork between the dog and handler.

"Of course, it is the dogs who deserve all the credit and the handlers are just the lucky ones who are privileged enough to share the fun with them."

Mrs Trotman and Sieger joined a local dog agility training club two years ago and she said they had enjoyed the experience together.

Dog agility competitions, which are supposed to help dogs stay fit, involve owners guiding their pets around a course consisting of tunnels, jumps, and other obstacles.

This month, they decided to test their mettle alongside 3,000 other dogs from across the globe at the Kennel Club International Agility Festival at Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire, on August 10 to 13.

Mrs Trotman entered Sieger in the Starters Cup for large dogs.

The Starters Cup, the Kennel Club’s 'premier agility competition for dogs new to agility', was created for dogs in grades one and two of the sport.

Sieger bounded his way through a jumping round and an agility round to win a place in the semi-final, only to nail another win.

He will now go with 11 other large dogs from the semi-final to compete in the grand final at Eukanuba Discover Dogs at ExCeL London on October 21 and 22.

Proud owner Mrs Trotman said: "It was a huge honour to compete and win a class at such a prestigious show such as the Kennel Club International Agility Festival, especially at my age, which shows how inclusive this terrific and challenging activity is."

Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko added: "The Starters Cup is the perfect competition for those who are new to agility, giving them the chance to compete in a national final.

"Congratulations to Alison and Sieger for their fantastic performance – we wish them the best of luck for the finals at Eukanuba Discover Dogs in October."