The setting sun provided an atmospheric backdrop to the winning photo in the Dog Photographer of the Year 2014 contest. And it was captured by amateur photographer Steph Gibson, who beat professionals to top spot.

[Photo credit: Steph Gibson/The Kennel Club]

Steph Gibson, an amateur photographer from Australia, triumphed over nearly 13,000 entries – a record for the competition – to claim the title in the annual Kennel Club showdown.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Abbie Lee from Bristol scooped the 18-and-under category with a photo of her Airedale Terrier.

Two others from the UK were also awarded honours. Art Burasz from London won the Dogs at Play category, while Cat Race from Lancashire came top in the Puppy section.

Winner. First Place in the Dogs at play category Dog Photographer of the Year 2014

[Photo credit: Art Burasz/The Kennel Club]

The overall winner will be awarded a Samsung Galaxy NX camera and granted VIP access to photograph the 2015 Crufts Best in Show winner.

Steph said afterwards: ‘I started both dog training and photography before the age of ten and both have been my life passions since.

‘The photo was taken on a hot October afternoon when we moved the sheep up to the shearing shed, for shearing the next day.

‘The setting sun was golden, the dust in the yards was being kicked up – all coming together to portray the strength and determination needed in a stock dog to work in the hot and dry conditions here in the west.

‘The dog in the picture is Hullabaloo Swing Rider, or “Swing”, a working-bred, Texas-born Australian Shepherd…

‘My stock dogs and sheep made the Kennel Club’s “Dogs at Work” topic a perfect theme for me.

‘To have one’s passions collide together like this is truly one of life’s most wonderful moments.’

The winning images in the Dog Photographer of the Year 2014 will go on show at the Kennel Club Art Gallery in Mayfair, London, from 12 February-27 March.

To view all the winning images visit www.dogphotographeroftheyear.org.uk

Winner. First Place puppy Category Dog Photographer of the Year 2014

[Photo credit: Cat Race/The Kennel Club]