Horse & Hound

Henrietta Knight on Arkle’s style of jumping


WHEN Arkle took off over a fence, he would occasional­ly cross his near-fore hoof over his off-fore as he became airborne. When he didn’t, his forelegs were invariably very close together, which lent him a balletic dispositio­n.

“Arkle could make some bad mistakes,” says Knight (pictured left, with Best Mate). “He did it in the 1966 Gold Cup at Cheltenham, but it didn’t stop him. He parted the birch and kept going. He didn’t jump in the classicall­y rounded way but he was certainly spring-heeled. It felt like he was immortal, which is why everybody was so shocked when he injured himself at Kempton.”

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