Monday, August 15, 2011


So I know this is an old controversial topic but I was reading some different articles on the topic because I am interested in the whole subject and thought I'd write about it... Cloning.  What are your thoughts on the whole thing?  Particularly in our sport.

From "Gemini" the cloned colt of Gem Twist to "Clayton" the stallion owned by 11 time World Champion barrel racer Charmayne James, cloned from her gelding Scamper.  Both horses are probably what Dianna called "once in a lifetime" horses so I completely understand why Charmayne and those around Gem Twist would want to clone them, but should they?

In 2004 the AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) passed a rule stating that any horse produced from cloning could not be registered with their association.  Which, if I understand the rules of AQHA registration, means their offspring can not be registered with the association.  Now in most events... such as barrel racing and show jumping... breed registration doesn't really matter that much, your horses can still participate in events where breed associations are not sponsoring the event.

My concern is does this make it easier for those to have the money to win because they have a clone of a horse who probably set the bar in their events in the past.  Consider having to compete against Gem Twist again (that is to say if Gemini comes out with Gem Twist's talent of course) he was a horse who definitely made a mark in the Show Jumping world and now because a particular group of people could afford it, he's back and competing again (to a point anyway).  Does that give them an obvious advantage over those who can not afford to clone a horse like that?

I know that it's usually those who can afford the expensive horses who tend to do well in certain events (it's not always the case but more often than not) anyway but does this give them an even larger advantage over those who can not afford to clone?  What would happen in dressage if they decided to clone say, Totilas or Brentina?  Do you think cloning will have an effect on dressage competitions or not?

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