Cloned horses will now be allowed to participate in the Olympics
Keep a close eye on the horses you see competing in the equestrian events at the Olympics this summer. You just may see them again at the Summer Olympics in about eight or 12 years. Well, not the exact same horses, but a 98% nearly perfect copy of them. According to ABC News, the group that governs international equestrian events has officially lifted its ban on cloned horses in international competitions. Instead of trying to pair two horses with great bloodlines together to create the next champion, breeders can now simply clone the current winners.
Little is known about the exact science that goes into cloning horses, except for the fact that the end result will be horses that are almost identical to the horse whose genes they were created from — with “almost” being the key word.
“We now know that the clone is only a 98 percent copy of the original,” Fédération Equestre Internationale veterinary director Graeme Cooke explained. “Therefore, we came to the conclusion that there were so many variables there were no unfair advantages that were contrary to the spirit of sport.”
Cooke said that the abilities of the horse will also be affected by training methods, the skill of the rider, the horse’s relationship with the rider and the environment the horse is raised in. For that reason, he says, it has been determined that allowing cloned horses to participate in events would not be unfair.
Current horses that are clones are still too young to compete, and most have not yet been weaned from their mothers. Horses must be 9 years old to qualify for Olympic competition, so it will be a while before we know if cloning is a beneficial practice in the equestrian world. If you’re a gambler, you might want to find a sports book that will let you start betting on clones right now. Maybe you’ll end up winning huge off a 10-cent bet like this lucky lady.