The clone of a top mare was sold for $800,000 at an auction in Argentina last year.
Adolfo Cambiaso, Captain of Lucchese Polo Team, signed a deal with a US genetic lab to clone polo horses.
The cloning of horses started in 2003 with thoroughbreds, and show jump horses begin being cloned in 2006; this is the first time a polo horse will be cloned.
Experts estimate that genetics only account for 30% of the animal’s performance, so duplicating a champion horse doesn’t guarantee the result will be a champion horse as well.
“Throughout the sport everybody’s talking about what’s going to happen with cloning. There is a big internal debate,” said the president of the veterinary commission of an Argentine breeders association to The Guardian.
Whatever internal debate there is in the Polo world, it will have surely blown over before cloned horses are fit to perform in polo, four or five years down the road.