In order to get a competitive edge, one of Argentina’s polo teams is forming an alliance with a US genetics lab to clone some of the best Polo horses.
Adolfo Cambiaso, considered to be the country’s star player, has cloned a few of his best polo horses. The US laboratory, Crestview Genetics, has already preserved and replicated the genes of Cambiaso’s mare, Cuartetera. The Guardian reports that a clone of Cuartetera fetched $80,000 at an auction last year.
Guillermo Buchanan, the president of the veterinary commission of the Argentinian Association of Polo Pony Breeder, said:
“Throughout the sport everybody’s talking about what’s going to happen with cloning. There is a big internal debate. We look at all ways to artificially reproduce and genetically improve. But in this case we are dealing with copying an animal and now we are looking at how to regulate that.”
The Guardian notes that polo is not the first sport to use cloning. Competition horses in the US have been cloned since 2006.
But a clone does not guarantee an exact replica of a star horse. A horses genes account for about 30% of its performance. Training, diet, and handling account for the rest.
[Source: The Guardian]