09 October-Arkle

Arkle was a famous Irish thoroughbred racehorse. He is generally regarded as the greatest National Hunt horse of all time. Arkle was foaled in 1957 at Ballymacoll Stud near Dunboyne County Meath. He was trained by Tom Dreaper in County Meath. During his steeplechasing career his jockey, in the main, was Pat Taffe.

During his career Arkle would come to be regarded as the greatest National Hunt horse of all time. His wins included The Broadway Chase, Powers Gold Cup and Punchestown Gold Cup in 1963. The Irish Grand National in 1964 & 1965. The King George VI in 1965 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup (1964, 1965, 1966). The English trained Mill House and Arkle were rivals for many years.

Arkle has the highest ever timeform rating of 212 for a steeplechaser. Flyingbolt (1959-1983) with a rating of 210 is second and joint third on 191 are Timeform and Kauto Star.

During the King George VI race at Kempton Park in 1966 Arkle fractured a pedal bone when he struck a fence with a hoof. Though he recovered and came back to training he was retired two years later.

Arkle was officially retired in the year 1968 On This Day.


14 August-Darren Clarke

Darren Clarke is a professional golfer who is a native of Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland. During his career he has had 22 professional wins and is one of the best known golfers in the world. He has overcome personal tragedy to find great success in his chosen sport.

Darren Christopher Clarke was born in Dungannon, Co Tyrone in 1968. He started playing golf at the age of eleven at Dungannon Golf Club. He turned professional in 1990 at the age of 22. In 1991 Clarke competed in The Open for the first time and finished in a tie for 64th place. He earned his first victory when he won the Alfred Dunhill Open in Belgium in October 1993.

Clarke went on to win the Benson & Hedges International Open in England in 1998 and the Volvo Masters in Spain in the same year. He was also a member of the European Team for the Ryder Cup in 1997 and 1999. In 2000 Clarke gained his first PGA win when he defeated Tiger Woods to win WGC-Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship at La Costa Resort and Spa, Carlsbad, California.

During the following years success for Darren Clarke continued with several notable wins. These included the Smurfit European Open in 2001, which he won by three strokes at The K Club in County Kildare and WGC-NEC Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio in 2003. He was also a member of The Ryder Cup teams in 2002 and 2004.

Clarke’s wife Heather, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, died at the age of 39 on August 13th 2006. He had taken time away from golf during her illness. Six weeks after her death he was a member of the European team which won the 2006 Ryder Cup at the K Club in Co Kildare.

Since then Clarke has had continued success with wins such as the BMW Asian Open in China and the KLM Open in The Netherlands in 2008. In 2011 he had the biggest victory of his career winning the Open Championship for the first time on July 17th at Royal St George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, England.

During his career Darren Clarke has represented Ireland both as an amateur and as a professional. In 2011 he received an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Having been vice-captain of the Ryder Cup Team in 2010 and 2014, he was named as captain of the 2016 Ryder Cup Team in February 2015. He has set up the Darren Clarke Foundation which helps to promote junior golf in Ireland and raise funds for breast cancer awareness.

Darren Clarke was born in Dungannon Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland the year 1968 On This Day.

Darren Clarke by photojenni on 2007-07-18 14:17:39

Darren Clarke by TourProGolfClubs on 2013-05-21 11:05:35

Darren Clarke Wins the Open Championship by Secret in the Dirt on 2011-07-18 07:28:01