The American Quarter Horse Association recently announced that members unable to attend the 2009 AQHA Convention in San Antonio, TX, March 5 through 9, will be able to watch a special cloning forum online in the members section of

“Based on requests we’ve received, we know our members are interested in the topic of cloning and we hope they will provide some good feedback on the forum, while becoming more educated on the topic,” said AQHA executive vice president Bill Brewer.

Royal Boon Too, born via a surrogate on February 19, 2006, was the world’s first commercially cloned filly (she is pictured here with her donor, all-time leading cutting horse producer Royal Blue Boon, and owner Elaine Hall). Since then a number of high profile horses have successfully been cloned, including leading sire Smart Little Lena, but their clones are ineligible for breed registration.

Under Rule 227(a) of the AQHA Handbook, American Quarter Horses produced by cloning are not eligible for registration. During the 2008 AQHA Convention, the stud book and registration committee considered a proposed change to the rule, which would allow a live foal produced via cloning to be registered, if its DNA matches that of a registered American Quarter Horse. At the time, the SBRC recommended that any decision regarding a change be postponed pending further study and the proposed change will again be on the agenda at the 2009 AQHA Convention.

Confirmed forum panelists include Katrin Hinrichs, a veterinarian involved in equine cloning at Texas A&M University; Sharon Spier, an epidemiologist at the University of California-Davis; George Seidel, a professor specializing in biomedical sciences at Colorado State University; and Blake Russell of ViaGen.

Following the forum, AQHA members will have the opportunity to leave online comments on the issues raised. The forum webcast will begin at 2 p.m. on March 6 and is available to AQHA members’ with access through their PIN and password. For further information or to join AQHA go to