SANDPOINT — He’s been the California Secretary of Agriculture and subsequently served as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture for President George H.W. Bush. His Parnell Ranch raises nationally known championship Clydesdale horses.
Now Sandpoint’s Jack Parnell has authored a new children’s book, “My Name is Ramsey: I’m a Clydesdale Stallion” with a message for young readers told through the eyes and true experiences of a mighty and magnificent horse.
“My Name is Ramsey,” tells of Ramsey’s journey from a foal born in Scotland, where he was a champion stud colt in the National Horse Show, to California then eventually North Idaho with his new owners. It’s colorfully illustrated by renowned Sandpoint horse-and-mule artist Bonnie Shields.
While the book is telling Ramsey’s story from his own point of view, it provides lessons for readers. Ramsey is quick to judge many situations with apprehension before learning that often, they will turn out just as they should.
The author wants kids to understand that everything happens for a reason, and that each of us are unique and put on this Earth to be exactly who we are.
“Ramsey’s story epitomizes a lot of lives. You go through ups and downs, you go through negatives and positives,” said Parnell. “But if a kid will get the idea that worrying about that is unnecessary, and knowing that you are the only you that will ever visit this planet, then that’s what this is all about.”
Parnell served as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture for the United States during George H.W. Bush’s administration from 1989 to 1991. He has spent his life in agriculture, starting on his father’s small dairy farm. He has a lifelong love of horses and currently raises Clydesdale breeding stock, with 45 of the magnificent animals at his ranch on Selle Road.
Growing up on a dairy farm, Parnell never guessed he would later sit at the highest levels of government in the president’s cabinet. He, too, worried that” being some dumb farm kid,” he didn’t belong in such a position. That he found his way on his own path inspired him to write this book – “so that no kid ever questions themselves or why they are here,” said Parnell.
Parnell is a religious man; he includes a pair of scriptural quotes from Romans in an epilog at the end of the story, and said his faith in God has helped him to live life fully and with confidence.
“My Name is Ramsey, I’m a Clydesdale Stallion” was published in July in association with Keokee Books of Sandpoint. It’s available in both hardcover and softcover editions at local bookstores, including the Corner Book Store and Vanderford’s, or online at KeokeeBooks.com and Amazon.com.