Top show jumper Arko III was back competing, at Maubeuge in France, last weekend eight months after minor problems were found in the coffin joint on his near fore, forcing him to miss the World Equestrian Games.

“This was the first competition he’s done. We only did two classes, but he jumped really well in both,” said Arko’s rider, Nick Skelton. He is delighted to have the Hales family’s stallion back in work. “He had a month off, spent some time at stud and then was back just walking.”

Arko will now go to La Baule Super League, Madrid and Rome.