Interest in equestrian sports is increasing in China, but there is a lack of powerful animals. Instead of importing the horses from abroad at great expense, the country is now cloning its own horses.

According to the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland”, the horse Zhuang Zhuang is the first cloned horse that was born in China and is to be approved for equestrian sports. However, the genes of the animal are not made in China, but come from Germany. A horse named Ursus was imported into China and provided the genes for the clone. As a warm-blooded animal, the artificially bred horse should be perfectly suited for competitive sport.

Cloning could help reduce the cost of breeding and rearing the horses. Mi Jidong, head of the Sino Gene company, told AFP that the Chinese Olympians’ horses would cost millions of dollars. Cloning is a cheaper alternative.

Horse cloning has been legal in the United States, South Korea and the United Kingdom for 20 years. The first horse clone was born in Italy in 2003. The clones have been allowed to take part in competitions since 2012, as decided by the International Equestrian Federation.

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