Pieraz-Cryozootech-Stallion has become the second ever cloned horse to be born. He was produced by taking samples from international endurance champion Pieraz, a gelding, and it is hoped the new foal will eventually become a valuable breeding stallion.
The new foal was engineered by the same research team which produced the world’s first ever cloned horse, Prometea in 2003, and was born on 24 February 24.
Many top competition horses cannot be bred from because they have been castrated at an early age, so this is a way for Pieraz’s owner to be able to produce offspring from extremely successful genetic makeup of the original winner.
Current plans are that Pieraz-Cryozootech-Stallion will not compete, although it is hoped that he will hand on the talent of Pieraz to any foals he produces.
“This new approach opens the possibility of preserving the genetic heritage of many exceptional horses whose genes are presently lost because of castration,” said Professor Cesare Galli, part of the team who successfully cloned the foal.
It is hoped that Pieraz II, as he is affectionately known, will be mature enough to breed in around two years time.
This new development introduces a number of complex issues about whether cloned horses, or the offspring from a cloned horse, should be allowed to compete under international rules. Currently the Jockey Club will not allow horses produced by any methods other than natural covering to race under its rules.