Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cloned Horses and the Future of Competition

Imagine the Kentucky Derby circa 2040 ... Affirmed vs. Seattle Slew vs. Secretariat vs. Seabuscuit. No not horses with famous names, but those very horses, recreated through the technology of cloning.

Such a possibility became a bit closer to reality when a court in Texas ruled that the AMerican Quater Horse Association had to recognize cloned horses. The WSJ has the details:
A federal jury in Texas on Tuesday found the American Quarter Horse Association, which runs the world's largest horse-breed registry, is violating federal and state antitrust laws by barring cloned animals from its influential list.

The decision could force the group to admit cloned horses—and lead to similar lawsuits against other animal-breeder organizations that have sought to exclude cloned animals. Whether the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas will require the group to change its rules will be decided at alater hearing that has yet to be scheduled.

A rancher and veterinarian sued the American Quarter Horse Association in 2012, arguing it was a monopoly that was effectively barring cloned horses and other animals not registered with it from participating in the group's competitions and shows. The lawsuit claimed that not being able to register the horses had lowered their value by 70% to 80% and reduced the number of potential buyers.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs, Jason Abraham and Gregg Veneklasen, said they are confident the verdict will lead the court to order the association to register their clients' cloned horses and their offspring, about 20 animals in all.

Tom Persechino, a spokesman for the horse association, which is based in Amarillo, Texas, said the group is considering an appeal. "It continues to be our position that when members voluntarily join an association, they should have the right to determine the rules," he said.
The debate over cloned horses brings other possibilities into sight. The 1996 Chicago Bulls vs. the 2012 Miami Heat in the 2102 NBA Clone Wars? 


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