Arkle Collection of memorabilia sold at London auction

Private Irish collector said he had ‘tried, without success, to find a buyer in Ireland’

The "Arkle Collection" of memorabilia associated with Ireland's most famous racehorse has been shipped to London and sold at auction. The privately owned collection, which had been on public display in Co Kildare in recent years, was sold last week at Graham Budd Auctions in Mayfair for £65,000 (€81, 000).

The seller, a private Irish collector, said he had “tried, without success, to find a buyer in Ireland”. The collection had been on view in Foley’s Antiques in Naas until that business closed down last year.

The collection includes the saddle used by jockey Pat Taaffe which the owner had bought at auction in London four years ago "for about €15,000" and brought back to Ireland to add to the collection.

The collection included the horse’s bridle and paintings, race cards, photographs and trophies won by Arkle, including those for the Power Gold Cup at Fairyhouse and the Milltown Chase at Leopardstown in April 1963.


Among the more unusual items are framed “strands of Arkle’s hair” and “fan mail” sent to the horse including “get well soon” cards following his injury at Kempton Park in 1966.

Michael Parsons

Michael Parsons

Michael Parsons is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about fine art and antiques