Tamarillo’s clone put to stud this year

Tamarillo’s clone put to stud - Image above Tamarillo and William Fox-pitt winning Burghley 2008. Photo credit Mike Bain.

Tamarillo’s clone put to stud this year

Tamarillo’s clone, Tomatillo put to stud

This year will be the first time we see the genetic copy of an Eventing superstar at Stud. The controversial cloned colt’s apt name, Tomatillo, serves as a constant reminder of his shared genetic profile with the unforgettable Badminton and Burghley winner, Tamarillo.

Tomatillo, who is owned by Honn Finn and MW Guinness, who famously also owned and bred the original Tamarillo, is the second ever eventing horse to be cloned from a British original. The cloning took place at Replica Farm, Texas, where the procedure came at a cost of $165,000 (£104,000 at the time). At that costly price, Tomatillo, will chiefly be used for breeding, one of the only things that the gelding Tamirillo couldn’t do, although his owners haven’t completely ruled out competing. Tomatillo will stand at Biddesden stud and his stud fee will be a tidy £800.

The three year old is currently being long reigned and broken in at William Fox Pitts yard in Dorset. Tomatillo’s owners plan to ease him into breeding with a quiet first year and just have a few of the Guinesses own mares; Give a lot, Turkish candle and Imbroglio along with a few outside bookings.


Cloning is a procedure in which Tomatillo’s owners take particular interest, with Finn Guinness having a PhD in epigenetics .The process of somatic cell nuclear transfer involves a tissue sample being taken from the original horses neck, a nucleus from one of these cells is then placed into an unfertilised egg that has had the DNA removed. A small electric shock is then passed over the egg, to stimulate it into developing into a embryo. The embryo is then transferred into a donor mare; Tomatillo’s surrogate dam was called Blondie. Normal gestation then takes place, the foal will be a 100% genetic match to the original.

Perspectives seem to be changing on the procedure of Cloning, as the International Federation for equestrian sports reversed their position and approved the right of clones to participate in events last year. The 2016 Olympics will also be the first in which cloned horses can compete.

For more information on the farm where Tamarillo’s clone, Tomatillo was cloned visit www.replicafarm.com

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