Home   ||   Irish Cobs   ||   Our Herd   ||   Our Farm   ||   Driving Vehicles   ||   Shows & Events   ||   Gallery   ||   Contact & Links




In Memoriam


When our fine young gelding Ardan died a few years ago following unsuccessful colic surgery, I thought it was the worst day that we would ever experience in the horse business. I was wrong. On Easter Sunday this year, we experienced the loss of a wonderful ride/drive mare and her new-born colt.

Parnell’s Nuala, who was in foal to our own blue stallion, Parnell’s Leannan, went into labor late Saturday evening. Unbeknownst to us, Nuala’s foal was in a position that made it impossible for her to deliver him. Despite the heroic efforts of our veterinarian, Dr. Kathy Garrison, the foal died during the attempted delivery. He was a gorgeous blue and white pinto pattern, and he would have been a big boy. Jan and I named him Parnell’s Laochan, which translates as “little hero” in Irish. He is buried next to Ardan at the Irish Rose Farm.

Nuala suffered significant muscle and nerve trauma to her hind-quarters during the attempted delivery, and was unable to stand and walk without assistance. With a great deal of help and effort from friends, we got her onto a trailer and transported her to Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital around dawn on Easter Sunday. Despite their best treatment efforts, Nuala succumbed to her injuries and died Easter Sunday evening.

Jan and I want to thank everyone who came to our assistance in the middle of the night – we clearly had the “A” Team all the way around: our veterinarian Dr. Kathy Garrison and her family members, our son Adam, Dr. Pat McCue of CSU and his Field Response Team, and Dr. Diana Hassel of CSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital and her team in the equine neurological ICU. All of you tried so hard, and treated our horses with great respect. You shared in our sorrow when we lost Laochan and then lost Nuala a few hours later. We are so grateful for your friendship and support.

Jan and I want to remember Nuala for the wonderful mare that she was, and her foal Laochan for the opportunity that he never had. Nuala was one of the original 5 broodmares that we imported from Ireland in 2005 to start the Irish Rose Farm. She excelled at driving – whether single, pairs or four-in-hand. Two wheels or four wheels – it didn’t matter to Nuala - she couldn’t wait to get hitched and start driving. We referred to our restored Romany bow-top Gypsy wagon as “Nuala’s wagon”, since she pulled it in the St. Patrick’s Day Parades in Denver, showing off for the crowds in her gorgeous red and black Gypsy harness! Nuala was also a superb broodmare – her other foals are Parnell’s Anois (sired by Clononeen Mull of Kintyre) in 2006 and Parnell’s Grainne ni Mhaille (sired by Rock Ranch Nelson) in 2007. Laochan was a big foal, and with the driving heritage from both parents, he would have taken over the Gypsy wagon from his dam.

Everyone who ever worked with her or rode her enjoyed Nuala – she was just as comfortable riding around in a Western saddle on the farm as she was in English tack in the show ring. She seemed to discern the rider’s ability, even more than your typical Gypsy horse, and she was always able to match her performance to the rider’s skill level. Nuala’s special friends often referred to their riding experience as “riding the BarcaLounger” because she was so smooth and comfortable, whether in the arena or on the road! She was a joy to drive, regardless of the vehicle she was hitched to. She looked just as good in front of a marathon carriage as she did pulling a Gypsy flat cart or vardo. (Please click the link to see a PhotoShow of some of our favorite memories of Nuala.)

Godspeed Nuala and Laochan, we will miss you.

Welcome to The Irish Rose, home of Parnell's Irish Cobs.  At last, it’s starting to feel like Springtime in the Rockies (but after years of living here, we know that Winter is not over – after all, we had 10 inches of snow on Mother’s Day in 2014)!  We had just enough snow for the recent warm weather to start the grass growing in the pastures, much to the delight of the mares – there is nothing as sweet as the first new grass of the season!  We have started the daily ritual of walking them back and forth from barn to pasture so that we can wean them onto the new grass, a few hours at a time, a little longer each day, until they can stay out 24/7.  Here’s to hoping that we have enough Spring rain to give us some really nice pastures this summer for the mares and their new foals.

Last Summer, we bred our three Irish Dexter cows, Seosaimhthin (“Josephine”),  Luiseach (“Lucy”) and Eabha (“Eva”), to an outstanding red Dexter bull (Laffey’s Norman).  Lucy’s baby, a fine little dun-colored bull calf, was born on St. Patrick’s Day.  We named him Donnchadh (”Duncan”), which translates as “brown warrior” in Gaelic.  Jo’s baby, another good-looking dun bull calf, was born on April 19th.  We named this boy MagUidhir (“MacGuire”), which means “son of the brown-haired one” – the name originated in Ulster in the 10th century, during the reign of the great Brian Boru.    Eva’s baby is due in June, about the same time as Cahir and Lizzie should be foaling! Check out their first PhotShow on the Gallery Page!



At Parnell's, our goal is to breed, train and show the finest traditional Irish Cobs. We are meeting this goal by carefully matching our broodmares with hand-picked stallions in terms of conformation and color. We also believe that it is equally important to maintain their well-deserved reputation for being hard-working horses with gentle dispositions. We breed for performance, whether in harness or under saddle, and we focus on the qualities that promote the ability to perform in multiple disciplines. Be sure and check out the “Horses for Sale” page for the latest information on our available horses.
Thinking about breeding your Gypsy horse mare in 2015? Our blue stallion, Parnell’s Leannan, will be standing to a limited number of approved Gypsy mares in 2015 – be sure and visit his page for more information (and look at Caoinlean, Si Gaoithe, Meadbh, Cormac mac Airt and Ceilidh to see how well he consistently reproduces his short back and sweet head!) If you are in the Fort Collins area and would like to visit with our herd, or see Leannan in person, please contact us to arrange for your visit!

We are pleased that we have been able to preserve another part of the Irish culture in the form of traditional driving vehicles. We are privileged to have owned two Irish Gypsy vardos or living wagons, an English Gypsy flat cart and an authentic Irish jaunting cart - please make sure you check the Driving Vehicles page for more information and photos of these lovely vehicles!  We are always happy to share more photos with people who are doing restorations or models.  We have decided to sell the Bow-Top wagon Gypsy wagon – if you are interested in owning an authentic Romany vardo to use with your Gypsy horse in parades and shows, please call Charlie to arrange for an inspection.

Thank you for visiting our website - we hope you will enjoy the pictures of our fine horses and our traditional Gypsy driving vehicles. Please contact us for more information regarding our available Horses for Sale. Our farm, The Irish Rose, is only an hour North of Denver, CO and we would love to show you our horses and wagons in person!


Parnell's Irish Cobs, LLC
Charlie and Jan Cox


Home | Irish Cobs | Horses for Sale | Our Herd | Our Farm | Merchandise | Driving Vehicles | Shows & Events | Gallery | Contact | Links

Copyright 2006-2015 Parnell's Irish Cobs. All rights reserved. All images copyright respective owners.