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Sapphire's been busy!

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  • Sapphire's been busy!

    She may have retired earlier this year, but McLain Ward's great ride Sapphire hasn't just been chowing down (though she's doing that too!). Check it out...

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...heirs-apparent

  • #2
    Great article. Can't wait to see her babies in the ring!

    Comment


    • #3
      Interesting article, and nice to hear what such a wonderful mare is up to now. I love that Sapphire and Goldika are having such a picture book retirement. I am looking forward to following the babies- although I am more interested in the future of the ones that were bred versus those that were cloned.

      I am still not sure what I think of cloning from a sport horse perspective. Somehow I feel no qualms in the case where a horse couldn't be bred, but should have- like a great gelding (a la Gem Twist). In the case of Sapphire, I am completely see why they cloned her, with the thought they may not be able to breed her due to her competition career. I would put Sapphire firmly in the category of a horse that should pass on her genes. It will be interesting in this case to follow the clones futures versus the bred babies. We live in a pretty amazing age. Not to mention the clones babies vs those that came from Sapphire/ Sapphire's eggs directly.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm a dreadful Luddite about cloning. My reaction when I found out Top Gun had been cloned was total dismay. I loved that horse-- he was a shooting star and now it's over and a precious memory. My one wish, if they must do it, is that they don't exceed what can naturally be expected of a mare in the wild, say no more than a dozen direct offspring. They can't become invasive like bamboo. (Whoops, who said that). And my other one wish is that the perpetrators take complete responsibility for the lives of the offspring. I don't want to see Lee McKeever, the one who cares, in his dotage in the poorhouse trying to feed 100 lookalike chestnuts.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by nutmeg View Post
          I don't want to see Lee McKeever, the one who cares, in his dotage in the poorhouse trying to feed 100 lookalike chestnuts.
          Ok, I'm laughing a little at the mental image of Lee out there with a cane, throwing hay over the fence to a chestnut herd. Not that I want or expect that to happen, but I can totally picture him doing it.

          It will be interesting to see how all the offspring turn out. It's always a question in my mind how much you can reproduce such an extraordinary individual, even with the same genes involved. There are so many factors that go into the development of any top horse, and especially such an exceptional one.

          Great to have an update on those good horses.

          Comment


          • #6
            Since cloning is a pretty expensive, time consuming, and difficult process I doubt it will become extremely pervasive and commonplace. But it will definitely be interesting to see how training goes and see the differences/similarities between the two clones themselves and sapphire.

            Comment


            • #7
              What I'd like to see, but probably won't, is at least one foal Sapphire herself carries and raises to compare with both the clones and those born to surrogate mothers-- perhaps it would help give us some ideas on how much difference mothering/nurturing styles might make in the performance of genetic offspring.
              http://www.tunnelsendfarm.com

              Comment


              • #8
                If i read that right, Sapphire had a few foal when she was younger. Where are they now?
                http://www.facebook.com/Albertagrooms

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by trilogy View Post
                  If i read that right, Sapphire had a few foal when she was younger. Where are they now?
                  http://www.burnockstud.co.uk/stud.html
                  They seem to stand a son of hers, Temple Akropolis.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So..

                    I know little about cloning..but how do the two clones have different blazes? shouldn't they be identical? Sorry if this is a dumb question..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Big_Tag View Post
                      I know little about cloning..but how do the two clones have different blazes? shouldn't they be identical? Sorry if this is a dumb question..
                      This exact question was answered this week on the Breeding forum (I looked quickly and couldn't find the exact thread). The genes of clones are identical; the expression of those genes is not identical, and in regard to white markings, can be the result of environmental factors.

                      Someone put up a photo of a famous QH's five clones and OMG they looked identical aside from the placement/size of their blazes and socks.

                      So, for instance, since Sapphire has a blaze, any clones of hers will have a white facial marking, as well; but it won't be exactly the same as hers.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Edited, because apparently I never learned how to read!!!!!
                        Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kadenz View Post
                          This exact question was answered this week on the Breeding forum (I looked quickly and couldn't find the exact thread). The genes of clones are identical; the expression of those genes is not identical, and in regard to white markings, can be the result of environmental factors.

                          Someone put up a photo of a famous QH's five clones and OMG they looked identical aside from the placement/size of their blazes and socks.

                          So, for instance, since Sapphire has a blaze, any clones of hers will have a white facial marking, as well; but it won't be exactly the same as hers.

                          hey, thanks! That's really neat and I will look it up on that thread

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kadenz View Post
                            This exact question was answered this week on the Breeding forum (I looked quickly and couldn't find the exact thread). The genes of clones are identical; the expression of those genes is not identical, and in regard to white markings, can be the result of environmental factors.

                            Someone put up a photo of a famous QH's five clones and OMG they looked identical aside from the placement/size of their blazes and socks.

                            So, for instance, since Sapphire has a blaze, any clones of hers will have a white facial marking, as well; but it won't be exactly the same as hers.
                            I think this is the picture you mean. I was also struck by it:

                            http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yeb_22Wllw...a%2Bclones.jpg
                            I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kadenz View Post
                              This exact question was answered this week on the Breeding forum (I looked quickly and couldn't find the exact thread). The genes of clones are identical; the expression of those genes is not identical, and in regard to white markings, can be the result of environmental factors.
                              Environmental factors such as...? In utero? I'm confused.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by MHM View Post
                                Environmental factors... such as? In utero? I'm confused.
                                Actually, yes, that was mentioned. I'm no expert, just relating the information given on that thread.

                                Found it! http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ighlight=clone

                                Quoting J-Lu on that thread:
                                "The answer, though, is differences in gene expression in a cell. Clones have identical DNA, but the way the DNA is transcribed to RNA, and the way the RNA is translated to making a protein, can be specific to the cell. There are epigenetic factors - basically, chemicals that adhere to certain parts of the genome - that dictate NOT whether the DNA is there, but how often the DNA is read to make RNA and how efficiently that is made into functional proteins. Think about a fertilized egg. It divides into two cells, then 4 cells, then 8 cells, then 16 cells, then 32 cells, etc. Every time the cell divides, it has to make a perfect copy of its DNA. The cell machinery isn't always perfect and little changes in DNA can occur. Also, those chemicals that can affect gene expression can get added or subtracted as cells divide. Many of them, however, are passed on to the daughter cells. That's how identical cells can have different levels of gene expression, and how people and horses and dogs with identical DNA can express that DNA differently and have unique physical features."
                                Last edited by Kadenz; Feb. 1, 2013, 03:30 PM. Reason: found other thread!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  ^ Interesting. Thanks!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I overheard an interesting conversation re: cloning at a cutting horse show several years ago. What struck me most was one question/concern: "OK, so everyone's excited about Smart Lil Lena clones, because he's perceived to be the best there is. But what if cloning had been around 20 years ago? Cutting has changed/improved immeasurably/gotten much more competitive in 20 years. But what if everyone back then had cloned XX [I can't recall the name]? He cut like a Shetland pony compared to SLL. Would SLL ever have existed? Would cutting be the same as it was then because our horses 'stalled' at that level?"

                                    I think this is a question that breeders really need to consider. The other question these gentlemen had concerned competition in futurities and age-specific classes, which issues don't concern the h/j/d/e world as much, if at all. If a horse can only (logically) compete in 3 yo competitions once (one year), can all these clones compete? Can only ONE clone compete each year in these age-specific competitions? Or can 10 SLLs compete in 3 yo futurities?

                                    'tis interesting thinking....

                                    Thanks for the education on DNA/RNA/etc.

                                    Carol
                                    www.ayliprod.com
                                    Equine Photography in the Northeast

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Kadenz View Post
                                      Actually, yes, that was mentioned. I'm no expert, just relating the information given on that thread.

                                      Found it! http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ighlight=clone

                                      Quoting J-Lu on that thread:
                                      "The answer, though, is differences in gene expression in a cell. Clones have identical DNA, but the way the DNA is transcribed to RNA, and the way the RNA is translated to making a protein, can be specific to the cell. There are epigenetic factors - basically, chemicals that adhere to certain parts of the genome - that dictate NOT whether the DNA is there, but how often the DNA is read to make RNA and how efficiently that is made into functional proteins. Think about a fertilized egg. It divides into two cells, then 4 cells, then 8 cells, then 16 cells, then 32 cells, etc. Every time the cell divides, it has to make a perfect copy of its DNA. The cell machinery isn't always perfect and little changes in DNA can occur. Also, those chemicals that can affect gene expression can get added or subtracted as cells divide. Many of them, however, are passed on to the daughter cells. That's how identical cells can have different levels of gene expression, and how people and horses and dogs with identical DNA can express that DNA differently and have unique physical features."
                                      Actually, the mechanisms involved in protein synthesis are highly conserved across all cells in all organisms; there are also proofreading mechanisms in place to ensure that the entire process is EXTREMELY accurate (the error rate HAS to be almost zero or life would not exist). But that doesn't really have anything to do with the rest of the post, which is a good explanation based on what is known about the differences in markings when it comes to clones.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Very cool about Sapphire, but for some reason, cloning for competition seems like cheating to me. I know it's not a sure thing and the clone won't necessarily be the superstar that the original was, but it just doesn't sit right with me.
                                        Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                        Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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