Stud owner Mary McCann confirmed yesterday that she had two clones from her deceased stallion Cruising.
The renowned Irish show jumper and influential sire was cloned while he was still alive.
The clones were born in the summer of 2012 and have been hidden at McCann’s Hartwell Stud in Co Kildare since then.
Now aged three, they are called Cruising Arish and Cruising Encore.
Cruising died in his stable on September 7, last year at the age of 29. Bred by Bord na gCapall, he was by the Irish draught Sea Crest, a Grade A show jumper, out of the international show jumping dam Mullacrew.
Cruising was a consistent performer at international level with Trevor Coyle, winning grands prix at Aachen, Germany, in 1999, and Dortmund in 1998, Lucerne, Switzerland, in 1998, San Marino in 1996, Wolfsburg in 1996.
He also brought the house down when winning the World Cup qualifiers at Millstreet, Co Cork, in 1997 and 1998, scoring another World Cup win in Geneva in 1998.
The grey stallion was a stalwart of the Irish team, with nations cups victories in Dublin (1997), Rotterdam (1996), Calgary in Canada, Aachen and Modena, Italy.
Cruising also gained renown as a sire, counting among his progeny the legendary show jumper Flexible and former Irish army horse Mo Chroi, along with eventing horses Mr Medicott, and Electric Cruise, a member of the Irish team at the London Olympics.
The first horse was cloned in Italy in 2003 and, since then, a number of famous sport horses have been cloned, including show jumpers Gem Twist and ET, and eventer Tamarillo.
Horse Sport Ireland CEO Damian McDonald said that the sport horse sector has always embraced the use of science to breed better horses. Techniques such as artificial insemination and latterly, embryo transfer, are in wide.
“The international governing body, the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), allow clones to compete and we altered the rules of the Irish Sport Horse Studbook in recent years to permit the registration of clones,” he said.
“Cloning won’t be something everyone will embrace but it is another option for breeders and Cruising’s genetics are traditionally Irish, which is important to a cohort of breeders,” he said.
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