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Yesterday we had our first Equestrian Gold medal of the Rio Olympics! Charlotte Dujardin did a fantastic job of defending her Individual Dressage Gold Medal with superstar Valegro. They rode a truly beautiful test and scored a fantastic 93.857%, only about 1% off the world record for free style (which this pair currently hold.)
Since this test there has been lots of talk of Valegro retiring from competition soon. Although as far as I am aware, nothing has been confirmed other than we can expect this to be his last Olympics! Many horses at this level would now be retiring to stud for a few years after this kind of performance with perhaps the odd ride. However, Valegro is a gelding and I can’t help thinking he would be a perfect candidate for cloning!
One of my early blog posts explored the idea of designer horses and cloning (read here). But cloning Valegro would produce a stallion clone of Valegro! Don’t get me wrong, I know he was gelded for a reason. Whether it be for temperament or that he simply wasn’t considered good enough to be used as a breeding animal, However I think his performance has overcome these things!
Although temperament has been proven to be heritable, there are so many other things which influence a horse’s temperament that I’m unsure if it would put me off using a certain stallion, especially if I had a mare with a good temperament! And I think 3 Olympic Gold medals proves that he has desirable qualities which would be well worth passing on to his offspring!
I would therefore like to think that Carl Hester will consider the idea of cloning Valegro for this reason. Cloning is still very expensive, but I think that a Stallion Valegro would be very profitable! And I’m sure that there would be many people interested in investing in a Valegro Stallion!
What are your opinions on cloning horses? Would you chose to breed from a Valegro clone? Would you want it to have some competition results of its own?