Eric Palmer’s daughter, Hélène, riding Et Cetera Z (ET Cryozootech x Jabad) in Fontainebleau 2019

By Christopher Hector
Photography: Private collection

Clones! It was going to be the great breakthrough in horse breeding..... Great stallions like Quidam de Revel could live on forever, phenomenal geldings, like Rusty, Gem Twist and ET could become great stallions. Welcome to the brave new scientific world! Or was it? The first equine clone (moving on from the first mammal, Dolly, the sheep, cloned in 1996), was a male mule named Idaho Gem, born in Idaho, USA, on May 4, 2003. The birth was described as ‘a milestone in quine genetics and breeding.’

The first cloned horse foal to be born was Prometea, a Haflinger who arrived on May 28, 2003 in Italy. On February 24, 2005, the same team of scientists were responsible for the birth of Pieraz-Cryozootech-Stallion, a clone of the international endurance champion gelding, Pieraz.
The sport horse world, lead by Frenchman, Cryozootech head, Eric Palmer, leapt quickly into action. The clone of Quidam de Revel – Quidam de Revel II Z – was born in 2005. Five foals by the Quidam clone were recorded in 2013, at the time he was standing at Joris de Barbander's Stal de Muze, arguably the most successful jumping breeding operation in the world, and not surprisingly they were out of some very fancy mares. Six years later, 24 Quidam offspring have been recorded, but only one seems to have a performance result, the 2013 foal, Nesquick de la Liniere (out of a Tinka's Boy mare) has competed at 1m20 level. The Quidam clone is no longer listed on the stallion roster at Stal de Muze.

Back in 2016, I caught up with Joris and found that he was not so enthusiastic about clones: “I don’t have problems, but I have found we really don’t need that – sometimes there are a few exceptions, like I use a lot the clone of Gem Twist, he was a gelding and a Thoroughbred. I have the clone of Quidam de Revel at my home, we use him a little bit, but I think this is ridiculous when you have a stallion that bred already 3,000 foals, you don’t have to clone him and try and write the same story again, that’s worthless. You have to give chances to other bloodlines, young stallions, not try and do all the time the same things. What Léon Melchior is doing, cloning his good stallions, I don’t think that is a good idea. It exists now, and there are a few good clones so you can use them, but without the clones, breeding is also possible, I think.”..To read the complete article you need to be a subscriberCLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO BREEDING NEWS

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