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We are pleased to announce the birth of Parnell’s Skellig Michael, a fine piebald colt out of Parnell’s Cahir by our own blue stallion, Parnell’s Leannan. As expected, Cahir did things her way, delivering Michael in her run in the early hours of Saturday May 30. By foaling a few days early, she deftly avoided having to go inside the barn to use the foaling stall! Michael may be smaller than some of our other boys, but he’s all muscle and we expect he will quickly add on weight. Please click the following link http://www.photoshow.com/watch/Ew3Ji4et to see a PhotoShow of his first day at the Irish Rose Farm. And come back and visit the site often for more pictures of this outstanding stallion prospect!

NewsFlash: We are also pleased to announce the birth of Parnell’s Saoirse, a gorgeous piebald filly out of Parnell’s Lisdoonvarna by our own blue stallion, Parnell’s Leannan. Not to be outdone by Cahir, our girl Lizzie delivered her petite filly on Saturday June 5th. We took her into the foaling stall Friday night because it was storming – we stayed up all night watching, but she didn’t foal. She waited until we put her back into her run Saturday morning and then went into the house to get a cup of coffee – within minutes she went into her loafing shed and started into labor. In less than 10 minutes she delivered a predominantly white little filly. Please click the following link http://www.photoshow.com/watch/yd8JV8KH to see a PhotoShow of her first day at the Irish Rose Farm. And come back and visit the site often for more pictures of this gorgeous little filly.


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. After the unexpected death of Nuala and her foal Laochan on Easter Sunday, we are pleased to share some good news with our friends and family regarding the birth of our next foals. Parnell’s Skellig Michael, an exceptional piebald colt, was foaled in the early hours of the morning on Saturday May 30th. I found him when I went to feed the mares – what a great way to start your day!! We have high standards for our bloodstock at the Irish Rose – our colts have to be in the top 5% of all Gypsy colts to stay intact. While it is still early to judge, Skellig Michael is the best stallion prospect that we have seen in many years – it will be exciting to watch him develop. I was hoping that Lisdoonvarna (“Lizzie”), whose original due date was in late June, would stick to the program, unlike Cahir! As expected, Lizzie wasn’t any happier than Cahir was about having to use the foaling stall, and waited till I put her back into her own run to deliver her baby the minute I went to the house. Saoirse, a petite white and black filly, was born on Saturday June 5th at 6:40am. I should know by this point that our Gypsy girls will do just about anything to have their babies outside – so I will just rejoice that babies and moms are all healthy.

We have had a very wet spring and the grass is growing like crazy – even the four-legged mowers can’t keep up with it. We can’t wait to get the Gypsy girls and their new babies out on the big pastures for the summer. And speaking of four-legged mowers, we are still waiting for our third Dexter cow (“Eva”) to calve – it could be any day now! The grass is so lush in their pasture this year that I can’t even see them when they are lying down – I have to call them all to the gate to do a headcount!

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, Ceilidh, Skellig Michael and Saoirse 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


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