Royal Blue Boon, First Commercially Cloned Horse, Dies

Royal Blue Boon, the blue roan Quarter Horse mare that made the news in 2006 by becoming the first commercially cloned horse, died last week in Weatherford, Texas, at the age of 31. Royal Blue Boon's owner, Elaine Hall, confirmed the mare's death on Oct. 17.

Royal Blue Boon

Royal Blue Boon (right) and her clone, Royal Blueboon Too, pictured in 2006.

Hall attributes the mare's death to "complications from being 31 years old."

In addition to earning more than $300,000 in cutting competitions during her competitive career, the Quarter Horse mare was one of the leading producers of cutting horses in recent years. Her foals have earned more than $2.6 million in competition, and her inclusive progeny have earned more than $9 million in cutting competitions.

In 2006, after the mare's breeding career--which consisted of several embryo transfer foals in the early stages of that technique's use--was over, Hall turned to the newest technology available to clone the then 26-year-old mare.

"When commercial cloning was introduced to the horse industry, I cloned (Royal Blue Boon) because I felt 'the top mare in the industry' deserves the honor of having her genes preserved," Hall said on her website. "Participating in history-making technology is exciting, and because of who she is--a one-of-a-kind mare with some mighty powerful genes."

The clone--the filly Royal Blueboon Too--still resides on Hall's farm.

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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