The first foal by Cruising Arish, the cloned colt of legendary grey sport horse sire Cruising, has been born in Ireland.
The chestnut filly was born around three weeks ago at Hartwell Stud in Ireland. The dam is a thoroughbred mare by Kings Theatre.
Cruising, the top sport horse sire, died in September 2014 aged 29 at Hartwell Stud in Co. Kildare, in the stable where he was born.
The stud took biopsies from Cruising in 2011, and in February this year it emerged that two clones had been born at the stud in 2012.
Cruising Arish (pictured below) and a second colt, Cruising Encore, have been available for breeders this year
And the colts are getting on well at the stud.
“The colts are great. They are growing big and bold, and have had about 25 mares this year, as we planned,” Jenny McCann of Hartwell Stud told H&H.
“We are breaking them now, and everything is going well.”
At the time the stud’s Mary McCann told H&H that cloning Cruising was a difficult decision but that they wanted to keep the traditional Irish sport horse genes going.
The procedure — which involves taking cells from a donor animal and implanting them in an unfertilised egg with the DNA removed and being placed in a host mare — costs around £100,000.
When cloning horses, genes are identically reproduced. A horse and its clone share the same genetic background — but this does not mean that they will achieve the same results and performance in competition.
The news was revealed when Hartwell Stud went to put a stallion listing in the Irish Field.
“It took a bit of ingenuity to keep it quiet for three years,” Mrs McCann added.
“We can’t get over the amount of attention it’s received,” she said. “There’s been very little negativity.”