John K Clark (
Thu, 13 Mar 1997 20:51:56 -0800 (PST)

Stud Dud Cigar Might Be Cloned

Associated Press Thursday, March 13, 1997; 4:01 p.m. EST

NEW YORK Cigar's owner thinks the cloning of Cigar, two-time
horse of the year, would be an interesting experiment. But
that's apparently all it would be.

"We're certainly looking into cloning,'' said Allen Paulson,
who has the right to buy Cigar back should the 7-year-old horse
prove sterile.

If Cigar were to be cloned, however, any resulting offspring
most likely would be barred from racing by the Jockey Club.

Paulson told the Associated Press from California that cloning
was not his idea. "I didn't start this,'' he said.

He said he was contacted by the New York Post's health and
science writer, Roger Field, who asked him about cloning Cigar
in light of recent experiments in Scotland involving the cloning
of a sheep.

"I said it might be an interesting experment," Paulson told the
AP. "If somebody who is qualified wants to come and get a patch
off him it would be all right.''

Barry Simon, farm manager for Ashford Stud at Versailles, Ky.,
said last week that 16 of 36 mares bred to Cigar had been tested
and none was in foal. After Paulson retired Cigar last year, the
horse was sent to Ashford Stud in a deal valued at $25 million.
Cigar's stud fee is $75,000.

"There's no life in his sperm at all,'' Paulson told the Post.
"They've checked over 20 mares, and all of them are barren. It's
a big shock.''

Paulson said he owns Cigar but sydnicated him for stud, keeping
10 shares and selling 30 shares to Coolmore Stud, which operates

When a stallion fails at stud, he becomes the property of the
insurance company. Paulson said he would buy back Cigar from the
insurance company.

Scientists in Scotland who successfully cloned a sheep told the
Post they don't know when, if ever, they will be able to clone a

"It's been done once in sheep, and whether it's transferable to
other species, we don't know yet,'' said Dr. Harry Griffin of
the Roslin Institute. "Other attempts ... will be in cattle and
then probably in pigs.''

Dr. James Stewart of the American Association of Equine
Practitioners told the Post there might be problems with a
cloned horse's offspring.

"When the clones start to breed, they'll bring out recessive
traits,'' Stewart said. "You'll open some problems you don't
want to think about.''

"I don't think the Jockey Club would allow cloning,'' Paulson
said, "because it doesn't allow artificial insemination.''

The Jockey Club, which registers American thoroughbreds and sets
rules for breeding and racing, bars from competition the
offspring of mares impregnated by artificial insemination. The
rules do not specifically address cloning, but soon will, a
spokesman for the organization said today.

The Jockey Club's regulation for registering a foal states the
foal must "be a result of a stallion's natural service of a
brood mare,'' said James Peden, vice president of corporate
communications for the organization.

"This regulation specifically excludes artificial insemination
or embryo transfer'' Peden said, "and I expect the Stewards of
the Jockey Club to add the words 'cloning by any means.' ''

Cigar ended his career at age 6 as the richest horse ever, just
shy of $10 million. He was retired to stud after he finished
third in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 26 at Woodbine in

It was his second consecutive loss and third in four races since
the end of his 16-race winning streak, which matched the modern
record of Citation. The streak included a 10-for-10 record in 1995.

Cigar won an allowance race on Oct. 28, 1994 at Aqueduct, then
didn't lose again until he was second to Dare And Go in the
Pacific Classic on Aug. 10, 1996 at Del Mar.

_ Copyright 1997 The Associated Press