Cloned horses OK to compete, says FEI

The first foal of Gemini, the clone of showjumper Gem Twist.
The first foal of Gemini, the clone of showjumper Gem Twist.

Cloned horses and their progeny will not be barred from competition at FEI events, the world governing body for horse sport says.

Some breed organisations will not register clones or their progeny. The first foals of two cloned showjumping geldings, ET and Gem Twist, were born earlier this year.

Equine cloning was discussed at the FEI Bureau’s recent spring meeting on June 8-9 at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne in Switzerland, after the latest research had been presented and debated at the FEI Sports Forum.

As a result, the FEI Bureau is changing its position in regard to cloned horses, saying it would not forbid clones or their progeny, from participating in FEI competitions.

“The FEI will continue to monitor further research, especially with regard to equine welfare,” the Bureau said at the meeting.

» More on Clones


On the advice of the FEI Eventing Committee, the FEI Bureau has postponed the implementation of the industrial standards for frangible/deformable cross-country fence devices at FEI Events, which were presented at the General Assembly 2011 – and which had initially been planned for March 2012 – to allow more time for the manufacturers to meet the required standards.

As a result, the current rule of automatically allocating 21 penalties for the activation of a frangible device has been changed, leaving the decision to penalise the rider with the Ground Jury on a case-by-case basis until the standards are enforced and the devices comply.

The Eventing Committee Chair updated the Bureau over proposed changes to eventing rules. These included the CCI and CIC competition formats, which are under review.

Rules changes will be voted on at the General Assembly in November, before implementation on January 1, 2013.

Clean sport

The FEI Bureau accepted the conclusion of the FEI Veterinary Committee on the ‘elimination if unfit to compete’ processes across the disciplines. The Veterinary Committee stated that the current approach works well with respect to protecting horse welfare, but within some disciplines the structure does not practically allow a horse to be stopped to check for a problem, and then restarted. Feedback will be provided individually to each discipline.

The Veterinary Director presented the 2011 figures for the Medication Control Programme, showing a further decrease in positive cases. He outlined the next stages of the Clean Sport campaign, which centres around the production of a “toolkit” of resources that could be translated into several languages in order to give greater international reach.

• The FEI Bureau agreed to sign the charter in favour of road safety, upon the invitation received from the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), and approved the FEI becoming a member of the International Fair Play Committee, which counts the IOC and UNESCO amongst its partners.

Latest research and information from the horse world.

2 thoughts on “Cloned horses OK to compete, says FEI

  • June 19, 2012 at 12:07 am

    moral quicksand. am amazed that found it so easy to opine. one can only assume they must have received some persuasive supporting arguments. this is the same body that cannot decide on riders competing without a bit .. these people are forced to plead for their case via petition.

    so we consider playing the god role without doubt or question but application of basic humane considerations… ??

    is humanity below these gods of regulation?

  • November 29, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I believe that it is amazing that science is able to clone horses. I’m sure that if every girl in the world had the chance to clone her horse or pony she would do it in a heartbeat. I don’t think that it is a matter of morals, it’s a matter of being able to continue on a pedigree or a species of Equus. As far as competition, it’s not possible to be considered cheating just for having a cloned horse or its offspring. when you have a foal, you have to raise it to be the horse you want it to be. That foal doesn’t know that it is a champion competitor. Not every committee to be persuaded with money to pass a bill. It’s sad to see what some people will say when something truely amazing has occured.


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