“They carried a lot of Thoroughbred news in those days,” she said. Mrs. Cox initially owned Saddlebreds, but moved to hunter jumpers when her daughters became interested in showing. After her children entered college, Mrs. Cox turned her attention to Thoroughbreds.
Her first Thoroughbred venture began in 1988 when her friend Bill Collins sold her a half-interest in Shining Crown. The horse won early on and was claimed shortly thereafter. Mrs. Cox was crushed, but it didn’t take long for her to increase her involvement, as she quickly purchased more horses.
Today the Cox family operates Rose Retreat Farm, a commercial breeding operation in Goochland, Va. They have a small broodmare band that has consistently produced winners. Miss Alethia, the farm’s most prominent broodmare, produced Grade I winner Showing Up (who won the 2006 Colonial Turf Cup), as well as multiple stakes winner Gimmeawink. Rose Retreat Farm sells the majority of its horses commercially, only keeping a select few. Plantation, a West Virginia-bred foaled and raised by the Cox family, recently won his stakes debut in the Private Term Stakes at Laurel Park in March of 2010.
(In addition, Cox bred 2003 Virginia-bred Horse of the Year Be Gentle. The filly by Tale of the Cat, out of Gentlelilstar by Risen Star won over $523,000 including the Alcibiades Stakes Gr.II and the Golden Rod Stakes Gr.II.)
Outside of racing, Mrs. Cox divides her time between family and work. With three children and seven grandchildren, she is quite busy following their sports and academic activities. When not on the sidelines, Mrs. Cox helps out in the office at S.B. Cox, Inc., the family’s principal business.
TOBA congratulates Nellie Cox on all of her Thoroughbred achievements.