First Cloned Horse Using Oocytes From a Live Mare

The Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Department at Texas A&M was responsible for cloning the first horse. Texas A&M’s Veterinary Department has always been the leaders of equine reproduction. To further set them apart, researchers of the program have another first in the equine world: horse cloning.

Kitt Knots was looking for another horse to ride. To the owner’s disappointment all of the horses that she searched out to buy were too small, too old, or just not right for various reasons in comparison to her former Lippizan Stallion. Knotts later visited with her local veterinarian who mentioned how Texas A&M was working on cloning a horse. That is when Knotts got the idea to have her prized Stallion, Marc, cloned. The research area biopsied some skin cells, and the process began. Then through the use of oocytes from a living mare, embryos were created and Minnie was inseminated with the embryo. The clone was created.

Kitt and her family decided to name the cloned horse Mouse after the research that was used to clone the horse. The researchers that did the cloning process used special processes and new techniques that formerly experimented on in mice to help detect potential birthing problems. Even still, the pregnant mare, Minnie, still experienced complications and delivered early after being transported to The University of Florida’s Veterinary Hospital.

I think that it is so amazing how we can use technology to make clones of horses. When I get older I think that I would be unbelievable to have a cloned horse. At the same time, I wonder how human doctors and scientists feel it is okay to play God and create living creatures through cloning procedures. Where does natural creation fit into the picture? The Knott’s family must have really loved Marc so much to have him Cloned. A love for a horse I truly understand. Losing my show horse, Flash, was devastating. The idea that I could have had another Flash is pretty amazing to think about in a way. I wonder how people would grieve if they knew they could literally replace the same exact creature. Honestly, I cannot help but wonder how much money the family must have had to go to such extremes however. Replacing my horse is not financially an option in my world, so it seems almost unfair.

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