Clone of Champion Show Jumper Born

Researchers announced yesterday (July 12) the birth of a clone of the Warmblood show jumping champion E.T. The colt, named E.T.Cryozootech-Stallion, was produced to give breeders the opportunity to further the 20-year-old gelding's line. The colt was born on June 2.

According to a release from Cryozootech, a French company that banks equine genetic material, E.T. won "all major show jumping competitions" between 1994 and 2003, including the World Cup twice, and he was at the top of the world ranking for three years in a row. However, he was castrated at three years of age, well before his athletic potential was realized.

"In September 2003, Hugo Simon, E.T.'s rider, and Eric Palmer (founder of Cryozootech)...decided together that E.T. should have offspring," the release explained. "Thus a skin biopsy was carried out on this horse who, at the time, was still participating in high competitions. E.T.'s cloning process was started in collaboration with the Texas (A&M) University, who had already participated with the production of Quidam de Revel's clone." (That clone of another famous show jumper was born in 2005 and was named Paris Texas; see www.TheHorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=5729)."

A laboratory test has shown E.T.'s clone is genetically identical to the champion. The colt has a stripe and two socks on his hind legs, just like E.T., but "the fine and side ways stripe on his nose is very different from E.T.'s blaze," according to the release.

Scientists have explained to The Horse that cells for white pigmentation can migrate differently in different individuals with identical genetic material, just as monozygotic (identical twin) calves might have spots in different places

According to Cryozootech, the cloned colt's first offspring would be born in 2009. "E.T.Cryozootech-Stallion will come to France in Cryozootech's stud where he will progressively during his second year start his work as a stallion and progress to conducting it fully after his third birthday," said the release. "Therefore the few mares, which will be inseminated in 2008, will give birth in 2009 to the first generation of foals fathered by E.T.Cryozootech-Stallion."

The clone will be registered in the Stud-book Zangersheide, a Belgium studbook that has registered two other clones, Pieraz-Cryozootech-Stallion (cloned in Italy from the cells of champion endurance horse Pieraz; see www.TheHorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=5676) and Paris Texas. A 200-share syndicate has been set up to manage E.T. Cryozootech-Stallion.

Palmer reports the company has banked genetic material from 49 horses, and it has received a total of seven orders for sport horse clones. A clone of Calvaro V, another champion show jumper, is expected this summer, and a clone of dressage champion Rusty is expected in 2007.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More

Free Newsletters

Sign up for the latest in:

From our partners