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Betsy Carter’s Horse Scene: Cloned horses get clearance
RECENTLY, THE International Equestrian Federation changed its position on cloning and will now allow cloned horses, and their offspring, to compete in FEI events. That means that one day we may see a horse going around a course of jumps that looks remarkably like Gem Twist.
Gem Twist, a gray Thoroughbred who won two silver medals at the 1988 Olympics with rider Greg Best, is one of several jumpers already cloned. In 2008, Gem Twist’s first clone, Gemini, was born two years after Gems Twist died. Gemini has become a stud horse, with the hopes that he will put enough foals on the ground to produce another Gem Twist.
Cloning alone is not a guarantee of greatness. A cloned foal does not hit the ground performing perfectly. Gemini’s first foal was born this year, so in about five years we may see him competing.
Cloning is still controversial and not all show or breeding associations accept it. For example, neither the American Quarter Horse Association nor the Jockey Club recognize cloned offspring.
Aug. 29–Sept. 2: Warrenton
Betsy Carter can be reached at The Free Lance–Star, 616 Amelia St., Fredericksburg, Va. 22401; or by fax at 540/373-8455.