Cloned horses?

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GloriaInTX's picture
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Cloned horses?

A judge has ruled that the horse breeding registry must allow cloned horses. Should cloned race horses be allowed to race? Do you think it will ruin the racing industry if bunch of clones from past famous horses are reincarnated to race again?

Who would win a race between Secretariat, Seabiscuit and Man 'o War?

Those champion racehorses were separated by decades, but thanks to advances in science, it's now possible to extract DNA from their remains, clone them, and bring exact copies of the legendary champions back to life.

And that scenario may someday be possible, thanks to a landmark ruling in Texas last week, in which U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson ordered the American Quarter Horse Association -- the world?s largest horse breeding and registry organization -- to allow cloned horses.

?Theoretically, could they clone the great American quarter horses? Sure, and that?s part of what the opposition is,? Tom Persechino, a spokesman for the AQHA, told FoxNews.com. ?It?s not strictly for breeding purposes.?

To hear Jason Abraham, who won the lawsuit on Aug. 14, cloning is simply the latest in a long line of advances, from transfer of embryos to the use of frozen sperm to intracytoplasmic sperm injection -- all techniques that let breeders avoid genetic dead-ends and preserve valued traits.

?I?m probably the largest horse owner in the country, maybe in the world. And I?m always on the leading edge of reproduction -- and apparently they don?t like that,? Abraham told FoxNews.com.

Quarterhorses are different from thoroughbreds like Secretariat: They're raised for quick power and speed rather than endurance. Quarterhorse racing raised more than $300 million in wagers at U.S. racetracks in 2010; it?s the third-most popular form of horse racing, after thoroughbreds and standardbred racing horses.

After cloning them, it's a short leap to other animals. The procedure is now commonplace among cattle, Abraham said. Citing backers of the technology, NBC News said cloning will spread this year to rodeo competitions like barrel racing and reining, polo matches and equestrian events leading up to the 2014 Olympics.

The AQHA has numerous other reasons for its ban on cloning.

?Clones don't have parents. Cloning is not breeding,? reads a position statement on the group?s site. ?Cloning doesn't improve the breed; it just makes Xerox copies of the same horses,? the group says.

Rest of article: Seabiscuit 2? World

Spacers's picture
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The judge is wrong because breeding is not cloning; breeding is a game of chance matching up a known male & known female for desired traits to try to get the best horse possible. There should be a separate registry for cloned horses. I don't think anyone is going to stop breeding horses because of this and I don't see cloning being offered by 4H clubs anytime soon.

But I see no reason why cloned horses shouldn't be allowed to race. Just because a horse has been made from Seabiscuit's DNA doesn't mean it *is* Seabiscuit. There are so many other variables that go into horse racing -- nutrition, training, medical care, how the horse bonds with its jockey, the horses it is racing against, even the weather and track conditions which are more luck than anything else. Let the guy clone his horses, let him race them against other horses, but don't call what he's doing "breeding" and don't let them get mixed in with the heritage stocks.

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I don't believe clones are anymore the same than identical twins. Identical twins may do many things the same but they are still individuals and have different personalities.

I agree that cloning doesn't advance the breed but I would be interested to see if a clone of a champion was also a champion.

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dp