I suspected this was coming. Why else would they have never put it in writing that clones would be ineligible while telling people inquiring that clones were not allowed? They were just leaving the door open imo.
It is a logical decision, you can't fight progress.
Each breeder is free to make his decision whether to use a clone and test the introduction of some fantastic gelding's genes in their breeding programs or stay away and wait.
Am very laid back about this as I am 100% sure the clones won't get anywhere near the originals for a variety of reasons.
Soon enough those who are using cloning will lose the taste of it once enough $$ have been poured out that way :)
I am glad they are competing. I am dead set against cloning as I am a nature/nurture proponent but at least this way they aren't going straight to the breeding shed.
Yep, and since cloning IS here, IS being done, WILL be done for at least a while, then being for or against it is a moot point because it doesn't matter LOL
But some DID go straight to the breeding shed- Gemini has a first crop, albeit small, on the ground this year. I don't know if he'll get to the show ring (and I actually don't care if clones compete, I don't see the value, though I DO strongly believe they should be allowed), but as of now he's not old enough to really be competing anyway (not seriously at any rate)
Not trying to start a war, but could someone explain to me all the hoopla about clones?
Basically, it is like an identical twin, same genetics (and I can see people wanting to breed to proven genetics, I mean, it is what breeders look for) but that's IT.
I'm not a poor trainer, but I'm not competition level. You could hand me a clone of Gem Twist tomorrow and he'd end up toodling around the county fair with me. It would surely not rocket me into stardom.
Genetics only go so far. From birth the foal will be different from every other foal, as all foals are, and that difference will only grow with him. So why the fuss about them competing? Is there something I'm missing, because I just plain don't understand it?
For ME, the big hoopla is being able to use/continue genetics that were lost. Gem Twist is from a very, very good line of TBs that wasn't widely used and there are soooo very few of them left.
I don't see ANY value in putting them in the show ring. Sure, you can have fun doing it, but it doesn't add anything constructive to the genetic pool.
I have never understood the fuss about allowing them to compete :confused:
I must confess, I don't understand the hoopla against breeding them either. No, it's not natural, but really, anything except live cover is not natural.
Collecting semen and AIing so that a stallion has hundreds of foals a year - not natural.
Embryo transfer so a mare can have more then 1 foal a year - not natural.
Shipping semen (or embryos!) "across the pond" so that lots of people can have a baby from this horse or that, when there's no way they'd get that breeding otherwise - not natural.
Using frozen semen from a stud who has died or was gelded is using genetics that were lost. I completely fail to see the difference that makes these things ok, and breeding to a clone not. :confused:
I can see how someone would see value in showing a clone. It's the nature vs nurture thing. I, personally, can ride a spooky, rearing fool, and in a month or two that beasty will be mellow and calm with all feet on the ground so long as I am on him - it doesn't make him less an airhead to begin with, it was only me.
Conversely, if you were to give me a clone of <insert uber, spectacular horse here> and we made it to the Grand Nationals - you would know that this was 99.9% the horse and all I did was steer a little and not fall off, kwim?
Horses are gelded for lots of reasons that have nothing to do with them. I know that I am not at this time able to raise a colt as a stallion prospect, I can't afford the RPSI evaluation and frankly, it would be too big a PITA for me to set up to keep stud colts as stud colts past about the age of 2 maximum.
I'm expecting a foal this year and 2 next year and if they are colts and here long enough to start training, they'll be gelded by then. It has nothing to do with their quality, I think they'll be great and I hope they'll be even better then I expect (don't we all :D ) and everything to do with my farm lay-out.
If the the heavens open and the angels sing and the horse world is blessed with something I bred that turns out amazing (and then gelded because it is easier for me to keep a gelding) and people look longingly at him and think "oh, if only". Why not?
LOL, ok, it's unlikely, but I don't understand the uproar.
^^^ THIS! I'm completely with you on this one, Riverotter! I've just never understood why it was a big deal. I just don't see so many horses being cloned that it's going to impact the gene pool in a negative way. We play "god" with horses everyday, I just don't understand why cloning is so much "worse"...
Thank you Miichelle.
I really thought that I was totally missing something about clones that gets people all excited - it's good to see I'm not the only one!
This clone nonsense makes me sick. Absolutely disgustingly sick..
You all are thinking about the "positive" aspects of cloning, like resurecting old bloodlines (Gem Twist).
Try thinking about future cloning scenarios, in the next few years or so if cloning is allowed, and embraced by the FEI, USEF. Lets say someone sneaks into Totilas stall at a show and snips a bit of his DNA and produces a Totilas clone and starts selling his semen.
Or lets say the technology gets really good and all you need is a bit of tissue off of a bandage , or hoof trimmings, or DNA from a bit for instance. Wala, you get your very own Totilas, Casini (insert whatever horse you desire)....
When you have wackos out there anything is possible, and when human greed is involved everything is probable. Just take a look at what happened to Campbell VDL at Country Heir II. Some POS snuck into his stall and cut his tail off... WTF.
Pretty soon, stallion owners will need to post armed guards outside their stalls.
Firstly, it still costs over $150k to clone a horse. Secondly, if you had a secret clone of a famous horse, you couldn't let anyone know you had it, so what would be the point? Even if you bred it to only your mares, it still costs money and talent to take the horses to the top.
Its not a secret clone, cloning is not illegal, who cares if you have a Totilas-clone and you sell his semen. Oh perhaps PS will care, but not the blackmarket semen buyers, they will hapily pay you $300 for a dose of "genetically identical semen". And,, no one cares about papers right, just read all the threads on the H/J board , most of them could care less because they "don't ride the papers". They dont care.
I'm not a fan of cloning, but I suppose I am not terribly surprised by the decision.
It think it will be interesting though,to see how many (if any) clones compete and if they do well.
Ok, so you have a clone that you "stole" the DNA to produce. It's stollen so it's not registered... Ummm. If you don't care about papers, then this could happen NOW. Who's to prove that a grade horse competing isn't a clone if the owners don't say so?
I suspect that over time, cloning will become more and more economically viable, and you may see people jump on the clone bandwagon to get their next competition horses, however I think they'll find out quickly that there is more than genetic material to insuring a good performance career. I will not be surprised in my lifetime (not the near future, but down the road) to see clones available for sale from top competition horses, much the way that ET foals are available now. Headley Britannia has a few foals on the ground and she just retired this year!
Every step forward in reproductive technology could be interpreted as unnatural. First there was transported semen that allowed people to breed to horses far away, then frozen which allowed horses to reproduce long after they were deceased. Now ET is allowing mares to produce multiple foals every year. Cloning is just one more piece.
Policing it will be tough, but I suspect there will be rulings surrounding "genetic theft" along with these advances. Whether that is policed through individual governments, or a governing body such as the FEI, would be interesting to see, but since it will be a new problem, the rules will most likely have to adapt.
Yup could certainly happen now. But until I whip out my very own cassini-clone I doubt many breeders are thinking like I am. And they should.
Perhaps stallion and mare owners need to start copyrighting their animals. Hum new niche market for you lawyers out there.
I think I will worry about those scenarios when and if you can get a clone for the price of a stud fee, which honestly, I don't see happening.
I don't see black-market semen being much of a concern either - and here is why;
1) there are a LOT of horses in the world
2) human nature
I've looked on the hunter jumper forum and they don't ride papers, but there is still a lot of discussion about who should go with who. People care, and what's the use of having an uber-spectacular colt without bragging rights?
It's like having a plate full of filet mignon and no taste buds - technically still filling, but most of the satisfaction is gone.
And (here's the human nature part) very, very limited market.
There will always be a new best and brightest star on the horizon. Who won the Derby in '97? Do you know off the top of your head, or do you have to look it up.
Name me every stallion who was on the US Olympic team 8 years ago.
See what I mean?
If Gemini doesn't compete and stay in the public eye, I don't think there'll be as many foals from him as some are worried about. People are like crows, the vast majority want the newest, shiniest thing - those are the sorts who will be in line for "black-market semen" - which will make it unprofitable for people to try to clone to get it.
Because the other part is - horses are long term. That's what we complain about with the TB racing, isn't it? How those horses are burned out and used up and on to the next before they're 5. A stud gets a big win and it's a new race - to the breeding sheds before he's forgotten. There's maybe another little surge if one of his get make it big, but that's it.
And let's not forget the nurture thing is HUGE. Again, you could give me a clone of Secretariat - I still couldn't win the Triple Crown. I doubt anyone is going to look to cloning for a fast buck, simply because there's no way it could make a fast buck.
You only get the genetics, you don't get the skill, the heart, the training. You have to put all that in. It's not cheap.