Prince William's polo pal creates 100 cloned ponies
Adolfo Cambiaso - one of the world's best polo players and friend of Princes William and Harry - has created about 100 clones of his favourite horses, some of which could be competing in the sport later this year.world Updated: Aug 25, 2013 16:12 IST
Adolfo Cambiaso - one of the world's best polo players and friend of Princes William and Harry - has created about 100 clones of his favourite horses, some of which could be competing in the sport later this year.
The 38-year-old Argentinian millionaire owns a polo club near Buenos Aires and began cloning in 2007 after he had to have his star horse, Aiken Cura, put down.
Cambiaso went into partnership with Alan Meeker, 48, a Texan oil tycoon, who had bought the cloning technology.
The extent of cloning suggests that an entire polo team could be riding clones derived from a single pony within a few years, 'The Sunday Times' reported.
Meeker, an oil tycoon turned polo pony mogul beat Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Henry of Wales, commonly known as Prince Harry, in a charity polo match in 2009.
"They [the princes] are very nice," Meeker said.
"We never discussed cloning but I did make sure their private office knew I was involved in it because I thought they should be aware," he said.
Meeker said he had cloned one of Cambiaso's ponies, a tetchy animal called Lapa, and invited him to Texas to see it.
"Each of the three [clones] pinned their ears back and lunged at him, which is exactly what the original does. He said, 'Alan, they're identical.' He didn't realise the personality would transfer as well," Meeker said.
He added, however, that not all clones will perform in the same way as the parent and much of their success will depend on their life experience.
While the equestrian world is split over the benefits and ethics of cloning, David Morley, chairman of welfare at the Hurlingham Polo Association, the governing body for polo in the UK, said there was nothing in the rules banning the practice.