History made as stallion Cruising cloned twice

By Siobhan English

A STALLION has been cloned for the first time in this country - and it's legendary horse Cruising who has had the honour.

Two clones have been created from the DNA of cells belonging to Cruising, who died last year aged 29.

The process of cloning Cruising began in 2010 when owner Mary McCann took up an offer from a US company. DNA from those cells was transferred into eggs, from which the genetic material had been removed.

The resulting embryos were grown in an incubator then transferred to recipient mares. The two clones, Cruising Arish and Cruising Encore, are almost three years old and will now stand as stallions at Hartwell Stud, Co Kildare.

"They are growing into fine horses and it is uncanny how like Cruising they are - looks, mannerisms, everything," Ms McCann said.

The cloning of animals has been a controversial subject for many years. Thoroughbred horse racing has an outright ban on cloned horses being allowed run on a racetrack.

Cloned horses had been banned competing at Olympic level until 2010.