Champion Horse Cloned by Texas Breeder

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This process has been successful so far, but there may soon be a hurdle for ViaGen to jump.

The eggs needed for cloning are purchased from U.S.-based slaughterhouses, which the federal government and animal welfare groups are feverishly trying to shut down.

If that happens, ViaGen's Walton said, his firm may import horse eggs from overseas.

A Horse Is a Horse?

Elaine Hall, the owner of Royal Blue Boon, says her horse is a genetic superstar.

The mare is the all-time leading producer of champion cutting horses, her offspring having earned more than two million dollars combined.

"She is an exception to the rule, as a brood mare," said Hall of Weatherford, Texas, at last Thursday's press conference.

"And so I thought it would be an injustice not to allow her this opportunity to be able to go on and perpetuate the blood lines."

The National Cutting Horse Association will allow clones to compete in the sport of cutting, in which horses separate cows from a herd.

Not everyone, though, is thrilled by the birth announcement of Royal Blue Boon Too.

The news spurred the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association to push for legislation to ban clones from the state's racetracks.

Many horse registries in the U.S. have also begun to establish policies regarding cloned horses.

The Jockey Club, the breed registry for all Thoroughbred horses in North America, refuses to register clones.

The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) in Amarillo, Texas, also does not permit clones to register. The group says it's concerned about the long-term impact of cloning on the breed.

"We do not know how this emerging technology will affect the breed, and we will continue to study it," said Gary Griffith, AQHA's executive director of registration, in a press release after the clone's birth was announced.

"We must bear in mind that decisions made today could have unanticipated effects on the breed many years down the road."

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