‘He is gone far too soon’: farewell to ‘exceptional’ jumping sire

Sport horse breeders are mourning the sudden loss of the showjumping stallion Cobra 18, who died at home in Ireland following a bout of colic on Friday, 5 April.

The 16-year-old son of Cornet Obolensky x Ramiro Z was bred at the Ligges Stud in Germany, and competed at international 1.50m level with Germany’s Markus Kolz before an injury in 2014 cut his own competitive career short. Since then, he has focused on breeding at the Drumhowan Stud in Co. Monaghan, Ireland.

The most well-known of Cobra’s progeny is the 12-year-old grey gelding Dublin, who competed successfully at five-star level with the USA’s Kent Farringdon — clocking up several grand prix victories — before moving to join Britain’s Jessica Mendoza late last year.

The majority of Cobra’s progeny are still under the age of four; the jumping sire will remain available to breeders through the availability of frozen semen.

“I am devastated; he is gone far too soon, just as we are about to start seeing his progeny in Ireland and UK come of age,” said his owner, Tony Noble. “He was a lovely horse with a kind temperament and bundles of presence. I feel honoured to have had him in my life and to be the custodian of ensuring his legacy continues by careful management of his frozen semen and through his offspring.”

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Gladys McArdle of Drumhowan Stud added: “I have no doubt that he will prove his sire abilities to produce more serious performers like Dublin. They are developing into lovely blood models and those breeders that have given them a pop are impressed.

Cobra 18 was a real character and a big showman. He was full of drama, yet the most genuine and uncomplicated stallion to daily work with in the breeding yard.”

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