Originally created 03/14/97

Horse owner considering cloning

Allen Paulson, owner of Cigar, the richest winning racehorse ever, is considering cloning him after the stallion's proved to be a dud at stud.

"We're certainly looking into cloning," Paulsen said. "... It might be an interesting experiment. ... If somebody who is qualified wants to come and get a patch off him, it would be all right. ... There's no life in his sperm at all. They've checked over 20 mares, and all of them are barren. It's a big shock."

Cigar, two-time Horse of the Year, ended his racing career last year at 6 after winning almost $10 mil. His stud fee is $75,000 per. But there are cloning problems. For one, the Scot scientists who cloned that sheep aren't sure they can do a horse and said tries on cattle and pigs would probably be next. Also, the Jockey Club, which sets breeding rules, bars everything except "natural service," including artifical insemination and embryo transfer.

Said Paulson: "Even though we probably wouldn't be able to use (the clone) for racing, it might be interesting just to do it."

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