Tomatillo, clone of the great event horse Tamarillo, is to stand at stud this year with a stud fee of £800.
H&H revealed Tomatillo’s existence in the magazine in September 2013.
The cloning of the Badminton and Burghley winner was carried out by Replica Farm, Texas, at a cost of $165,000 (£104,00 at the time) and partially funded by a group of anonymous shareholders, who will earn a percentage of his stud fees.
He belongs to the Honn Finn and MW Guinness, who bred and owned Tamarillo, and will stand at their Biddesden Stud, on the border of Hampshire and Wiltshire.
Three-year-old Tomatillo has been at William Fox-Pitt’s yard being long-reined and broken in. The photo above shows him with American rider Andrew McConnon, who works for William.
“I’ve always thought of him as part William’s. He looks unnervingly like Tamarillo in the photo,” MW told H&H. “He is back home now and taking mares.”
MW’s daughter Rebecca added: “We are not planning a terribly busy year for him, but we have three mares of our own who will be put in-foal to him and a couple of visiting mares pencilled in. In terms of his career under saddle, this will all very much hinge on what William feels is best.”
The mares the Guinnesses plan to put to Tomatillo this year are Give A Lot (“a nice thoroughbred by Generous”), Turkish Candle (a former two-star eventer by Bazajeth) and her daughter Imbroglio, who is by Indoctro and has also competed at two-star.
“Turkish Candle and Imbroglio are on the small side, so we hope he will give a bit more size and scope,” said Rebecca.
Tamarillo, who was put down last July, was out of MW’s Anglo Arab event mare Mellita (by Master Spiritus), by the Anglo Arab Tarnik, so they are also the genetic parents of Tomatillo.
In simple terms, cloning works by a tissue sample being taken from the horse’s neck and a nucleus from one of those cells being put into an unfertilised egg that has had the DNA removed. This is stimulated with a small electrical shock to develop it into an embryo.
It is then transferred into a recipient mare and follows a normal gestation, with the foal being a 100% genetic match to the original. Tomatillo’s surrogate dam was called Blondie.