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July 3, 2012

FEI Announces That Cloned Horses Can Compete

Following the Fédération Equestre Internationale Bureau’s spring meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on June 8-9, the FEI has announced that cloned horses may now compete in international competitions.

The latest research on the issue of equine cloning was presented and debated at the FEI Sports Forum. It was decided that, “The FEI will not forbid participation of clones or their progenies in FEI competitions. The FEI will continue to monitor further research, especially with regard to equine welfare.”

This decision reverses the FEI’s position on the subject of cloning. At their General Assembly in 2007, the FEI issued the following statement: “The competitive equestrian couple of horse and rider are both acknowledged as athletes by the FEI. The cloning of either with a view to competing at international level would be unacceptable to the FEI. The FEI opposes cloning for it goes against one of the FEI’s basic objectives: to enable FEI athletes ‘to compete in international events under fair and even conditions.’ ”

There are no cloned horses competing currently, but Austrian rider Hugo Simon’s grand prix show jumper ET has been cloned, and two clones of the 1988 Olympic Games team and individual silver medalist, Gem Twist, are on the ground. Eurodressage announced last week that two clones of the Grand Prix dressage stallion Jazz were recently born in the United States.