VIDEO: Cloned horse raises hopes for equestrian sports in China


Zhuangzhuang is seen with trainer Yin Chuyun in a paddock at Sheerwood horse riding club in Beijing. AFP

Gulf Today Report

A cloned horse, the first of its kind to be born and receive official approval in China, was presented to reporters in Beijing, in a development that opens new horizons for the equestrian sport sector in the country.

The cloning of race or high-bred horses has been a practice in many countries since the early 2000s, particularly for genetic improvement.

In China, the horse Zhuang Zhuang, born last June from a surrogate mother and developed in the Sinogene laboratory in Beijing, is a clone of a horse imported from Germany.

This black beast is the first “warm-blooded” horse born in China to be officially approved by the China Equestrian Industry Federation.

The classification of “warm-blooded” generally applies to light horse breeds with a lively temperament.

Equestrian sports, especially show jumping, have developed in China in recent years. However, the shortage of high-performance horses and the delay in breeding technology is limiting this growth.

“I spoke with (Chinese) riders participating in the Olympic Games,” said Mi Jidong, head of Sinogene laboratories. Each of them has more than one horse, usually two or three. Each horse cost between a few million and 10 million yuan,” or about $1.5 million.

He added, “Cloning can help lower the prices of horse breeding and raising horses.”

The world’s first cloned horse was born in Italy in 2003.


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