Pete and RePete – Cloning the American QH

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By Mike Brunker, Investigations Editor, NBC News, July 9, 2013

Texas A&M clones

Texas A&M clones

Horse race fixers have long used “ringers” to pull off betting coups, but a new kind of ringer — genetic duplicates cloned from the DNA of yesterday’s champions — could soon be barreling around a racetrack near you if two Texas horsemen have their way.

In a lawsuit set for trial Tuesday in Texas, the horsemen are asking a federal judge to force the American Quarter Horse Association to register cloned horses and their offspring, arguing that it is violating antitrust law by refusing to do so.

A decision favoring the plaintiffs — Jason Abraham of Canadian, Texas, and Gregg Veneklasen of Amarillo — could clear the way for the sons and daughters of clones to compete in sanctioned quarter horse races at scores of racetracks in the U.S. and elsewhere. The clones, who would not themselves race under the request for relief put forward by the plaintiffs, would in many cases be genetic duplicates of quarter horse royalty like Tailor Fit, a two-time world champion — and a gelding — who now has a young copy named Pure Tailor Fit.

Debate is raging over how cloning could impact the American Quarter Horse — an agile horse bred for speed rather than stamina. Quarter horse racing, which generated more than $300 million in wagering at U.S. racetracks in 2012, is the second most popular form of equine racing after thoroughbred racing, and quarter horses also are prized in rodeo events for their athleticisim. Stallions like Pure Taylor Fit can bring in $1,500 or more per mating. CONTINUED…
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(Snarky comment:  We’re not happy with the limited power given our role of little gods who have command over the life and death of other living things, so now we are creating life. The ultimate control freaks. – Jerry

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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
13 Comments
  • BlessUsAll

    Jerry, per your “snarky comment”:

    I think humans have been “control freaks” ever since the first Homo sapien decided that there was nothing stopping him from “owning” sentient beings of other species — from treating them as “property” that can be bought and sold; as “commodities” that can be bred and raised; as “profit centers” that can be milked or made into meat and mink coats in exchange for moolah; as feelingless, thoughtless “things” that we can rip from their families, capture, confine, kill, and consume, without compunction. as “playtoys” that can be fought, ridden, roped, tripped, shown, and now cloned.

    Where, besides the unenlightened, uninspired parts of world religions’ scriptures, did we get the ridiculous notion that humans have the right to dominate anyone based on species differences?

    Imagine how wonderful life would be, for them and for us, if we started “using” animals as they are designed to be “used” — as our respected teachers, admired mentors, wise guides, gentle reminders of how to be free, honest, kind, gentle, strong, affectionate, discerning, pure-in-heart, meek.

    Nonhumans have never really “belonged” to humans, despite our arrogant assertion to the contrary. They “belong” solely to their Maker, just as we do.

    July 9, 2013
    • Jacob

      BlessUsAll,
      you’ve read my mind and brought tears to my eyes! THANK YOU!!! 😀 You’re right! Humans have absolutely no right to exploit animals and I’ve been wishing for a long time that we, as a species, could learn more respect, consideration and compassion for our fellow creatures. If not, I hope we get wiped out by a deadly disease and the animals are free to live as they please!!!

      July 9, 2013
      • BlessUsAll

        Ah, bless you, Jacob. It’s a joy meeting others who refuse to be bound by the world’s conventional views of animals’ roles in our lives. Each of us has in us this same childlike, humble respect for animals — and an innate desire to treat them justly — but we just don’t know how to go about unlocking that respect, freeing it from the shackles of false learning. I hope your words and mine ignite a spark of recognition in other “little child” hearts on this blog. 🙂

        July 9, 2013
        • Judy Wendt

          Yes BlessUsAll and Jacob, our “little child” or innate sensitivity becomes locked/blocked somewhere inside our souls. We become numb to the suffering of non-human animals when we realize what constitutes the ingredients in the “happy meals” and other favorite (but unnecessary and unhealthy) foods.

          Some of us are species selective – meaning we won’t eat or wear certain species, usually those who have pet names such as our dogs and horses, but we are comfortable with using those we do not know.

          Now, like GMO frankenfoods, they want to clone FrankenHorses (for food? entertainment? ultimately both?). We don’t know what the result of this ghoulish experimenting will be. Some scientists believe is it perfectly safe. Then again, they tried to sell the public on the safety of Agent Orange, too. NOT!!!!

          July 9, 2013
  • Debbie Richmond

    Jerry, why not start a separate nonprofit association, a “clone” of AQHA? But one which registers rescued horses to give them THEIR OWN association, a place where they can stand tall and receive the respect, honor, dignity and kindness they deserve? You will have THE largest association in the nation :).
    Call it something like “American Rescued Horse Association.” Registration fees of course will further humane efforts on their behalf, and there are endless opportunities for sponsors, feed suppliers, vets, etc. who would be so happy to participate.

    It’s time.

    July 9, 2013
  • JanSchultz

    How are these duplicates, the coloring is all wrong. Cloning is getting the exact thing again – at last that is how I undersood it. These babies all have different markings! LOL! Looks like God is not going to be messed with. But be that as it may – AQHA is the pits. Look at what they did with the natural act of reproduction. Now they want to take it a step further and just cut out the physicality of the act. They are some real sick people, real sick. There is a QH in th epasture with my horses and I swear his head looks like a cow head when he is grazing. The problem is, you can only go so far and then circumstances will take a life of their own. I don’t think any of them learned from the mistakes of Impressive – matter of fact, I know they didn’t. Now, they think they can control life itself.

    Yeah, right! I cannot condone this, not even a smidgeon of it. Think what characteristics they will locate and “control.” When will they be made accountable for the horrors they engineer. Only God knows. I Just hope the horses do not suffer.

    July 9, 2013
    • BlessUsAll

      Hey, JanSchultz, it’s hard to dispute your comment that “AQHA is the pits,” but my reading of this article tells me that this organization actually opposes the cloning that two QH “owners” want the law to uphold. I could be wrong on that, though ….

      July 9, 2013
      • JanSchultz

        You are correct BlessUsall. The article does state AQHA s beng sued to force them to register the clones. In my mind, I see it as all window dressing. AI is just another form of cloning but that is a stretch of the imagination. The death rate of ths sperm and egg is so high in AI, the serums are “preserved” in a chemical bath. So, it all runs together.

        July 10, 2013
        • BlessUsAll

          I agree, JanSchultz, it’s all the same — the same greed, the same misuse and abuse of our beautiful, innocent friends.

          July 10, 2013
  • Daryl

    to buy an off spring of a winner is one thing to double a horse in DNA does not seem right to me, it is not natural. Not fare to the other horses in the race.
    Time to do it the right way guys. Stop trying to fix races, let the horses win on their own.

    July 9, 2013
  • Shirley vh

    Clones do not actually (usually) come out identical to the animal they were cloned from. There was the case of three mules cloned from one racing mule, and they all raced differetnly, also. Other breeds have been cloning for a while. It is VERY expensive. The only known breed that doesn’t register clones, is the Jockey lub for racing. You can clone a TB, but you cannot race it. Jump, Hunter or whatever else you want is OK.

    July 10, 2013
  • Sue

    HBO showed a documentary, “One Nation, Under Dog.” One of the stories was about a (obviously) wealthy couple in Boca Raton, FL who cloned their yellow Lab. At the conclusion of that segment, the film makers revealed that the Korean company who had cloned their Lab had stopped doing business because the results could not be guaranteed. I assume that the results were coming out with “clone defects.” !!

    July 11, 2013
  • Daryl

    For the horse or dog to have this done to , the off spring will look like the other but all things would have to be the same for the horse or dog to be the same” SAME” so looks is the only thing that will be the same.

    July 12, 2013