A SOUTH Herefordshire showing producer took the spoils at an international horse show last week.

Clare Fitch, from Glewstone, took top spot in the Shapley’s Pure Bred Ridden Arabian class at the Longines Royal International Horse Show, marking the second year in a row that she has won the title.

Her winning ride was the 11-year-old grey Mirv. “He gave me a lovely ride, and a lovely judge ride, too,” said Fitch, whose busy training enterprise specialises in Arabs, but also produces top-quality native ponies for showing classes.

“I thought he could be in with a shot, though there were one or two that were really nice in there.

"Mirv isn’t just a consummate professional in the ring, he’s also almost part of the Fitch family now. “He’s a really special horse; we’ve had him since he was a foal.

"He’s owned by a very good friend of ours, the Honourable Mary Ann Wragg, and she actually bred him, so we started out doing in-hand classes with him.”

Far from feeling the pressure of riding in Britain’s most iconic arena (Hickstead in West Sussex), Fitch – who winters in the Middle East competing Arab horses for the Sheikhs – was able to simply enjoy the ride on Mirv.

She added: “He’s the loveliest horse, and really easy – anyone can ride him, and he’s the nanny at home.

"We take out the youngsters with him. He knows what he’s doing here, and I just go as a passenger now.”