1968 – Champion racehorse, Arkle, is retired to see out the rest of his days in Bryanstown, Kildare.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

It was a famous Irish Thoroughbred racehorse; a bay gelding by Archive out of Bright Cherry, his grandsire was the unbeaten (in 14 races) flat racehorse and prepotent sire Nearco. Arkle was bred at Ballymacoll Stud, Co Meath by Mrs. Mary Alison Baker of Malahow House, near Naul, Co Dublin. Owned by Anne Grosvenor, Duchess of Westminster, Arkle was trained by Tom Dreaper at Greenogue, Kilsallaghan in Co Dublin and ridden during his steeplechasing career by Pat Taaffe.

Arkle won 27 of his 35 starts and won at distances from 1m 6f up to 3m 5f. Racing commentator Peter O’Sullevan (‘Voice of Racing’) called Arkle a freak of nature — something unlikely to be seen again.

Arkle became a national legend in Ireland. His strength was jokingly claimed to come from drinking Guinness twice a day. At one point, the slogan Arkle for President was written on a wall in…

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