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Farewell to Arko III

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Photo © Dirk Caremans / Hippo Foto Nick Skelton and Arko III at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. Photo © Dirk Caremans / Hippo Foto.

Nick Skelton’s former super-star Arko III (Argentinus x Beach Boy) has passed away, at the age of 27. 

With Skelton in the saddle, Arko III jumped at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, at the European Championships in Donaueschingen in 2003 as well as in San Patrignano in 2005 and at the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in 2005. The pair won the CN International Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows in 2008, one of the most prestigious competitions on the circuit, as well as big Grand Prix and World Cup classes at venues such as Estoril, Leipzig, Lucerne and Rome. During their career together, the two also finished on the podium in Grand Prix classes and World Cups in Amsterdam, Athens, Cannes, Dubai, La Baule, Las Vegas, London, St. Gallen, Toronto, Valkenswaard and Wellington – to mention some of their many achievements. For Great Britain, Arko III also produced numerous double clears in Nations Cups – and was on the winning team at venues such as Dublin, Hickstead and Rome. The stallion won £1.2m before his retirement from the sport in 2008, and his owners John, Pat and Lisa Hales were twice named FEI Winning Owners of the Year during his career.

Arko III also had huge success as a breeding stallion, and has sired many international showjumpers – John Whitaker’s Argento, Laura Renwick’s Arkuga and Anthony Condon’s SFS Aristo are among them.

In a post on her Facebook page, Arko III’s owner Lisa Hales writes: 

“Today is the saddest day we’ve had at Shaw Farm Stud. We have said our final goodbyes to the Legend ARKO. Born in 1994 he won numerous 5* Grand Prix’s and jumped many double clears in 5* nations cups. He came so close to an Olympic gold medal in Athens. Winning £1.2m in prize money in a magnificent career. He was voted the best horse in the world 2 years running and also sired the World’s number one Argento along with many more top horses. We have so much to thank him for he really was a horse of a lifetime. At the moment all our hearts are broken but we have so many happy memories. Fly high big man you will live on in your offspring.”

Our thoughts go out to all those close to Arko III.

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