Dorset-based AP reader Richard Austin has won the sports and news photographer of the year titles in an annual competition for photographers from regional newspapers.

Describing Richard as a ?talented all-rounder?, judges at this year?s Regional Press Awards said: ?It is rare that one candidate steals the honours in both sports photographer and photographer of the year categories, but Richard managed the double this year with two outstanding portfolios.? One judge described Richard?s news pictures as ?all front-page material?.

Richard?s entry into the sports category includes this picture (above) which shows three-times Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate letting off steam after winning a race in Exeter, Devon with jockey Tim Murphy.

Richard, who lives in Lyme Regis and works for the Western Morning News, has worked as a press photographer for the past 25 years and uses Canon cameras for his work, including the EOS-1Ds Mark II DSLR.

The contest is organised by journalism trade magazine Press Gazette, with a judging panel that was hosted by the Press Association. The presentations were made at London?s Hilton Hotel.

Picture credit: Richard Austin