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Clone of famous show-jumping stallion Arko born

The clone was generated from a small skin sample taken from Arko and genetically preserved by UK-based genetic preservation company, Gemini Genetics.

An Arko III clone was born in August 2021 following the combined efforts of UK based genetic preservation company, Gemini Genetics, and their partner and world leader in animal cloning, ViaGen Pets and Equine.

A bay foal in a field, with his tail raised.

The genetic clone of world-famous show jumping stallion Arko was born in August 2021.

A truly remarkable moment for the equine industry, Arko’s clone will enable his legacy to continue after his sad passing earlier this year.

By the world famous Argentinus, out of Unika, Arko III was the Number 1 Showjumper in Europe in 2004, 2005 and 2006. His earnings were over £1,2M and in addition to his impressive show jumping achievements, he is also the sire of many world class horses including stallions Argento and Aristio.

Arko’s owners, Pat, John and Lisa Hales of Shaw Farm stud, commented: It was an extremely sad day for our family when we lost Arko, he was truly a horse of a life time. The birth of his clone was very emotional. We believe it is not only exciting for our sport worldwide but especially for the future of Great British breeding for years to come. We look forward to breeding many more champions from this wonderful bloodline.”

A bay horse going over a large jump in an competition event.

Arko competing at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.  

The Hales family are internationally renowned for their successes with Arko III and his influence on equine sport and breeding. They have been awarded numerous accolades over Arko III’s career while Arko himself was crowned British Equestrian Showjumper of the Year on an unprecedented five occasions.

Arko’s clone was generated from a small skin sample from Arko original that was genetically preserved by UK based genetic preservation company, Gemini Genetics. Once preserved, the valuable tissue sample was shipped to their partner cloning company, ViaGen Pets & Equine, who completed the cloning process.

Founded and sister company to world leading equine semen collection and distribution centre, Stallion AI Services, Gemini Genetics is a newly established animal genetic preservation company, specialised in regenerative genetic banking and partnered with US based cloning company, ViaGen Pets & Equine.

Lucy Morgan, manager of Gemini Genetics, undertook the preservation. We are thrilled at the successful birth of Arko’s clone. A much-loved stallion in terms of his outstanding performances and his unique and full of life character, it is brilliant to have enabled his cloning so that his outstanding legacy can continue. Gemini Genetics are thrilled and highly privileged to have facilitated this amazing revival of Arko III via his genetic twin.”

Genetic preservation and cloning can enable the revival of once in a lifetime horses and other performance animals, in addition to breeding from geldings and preservation and regeneration of females. Other famous horses to have been cloned include Cruising, gelding Gem Twist and eventing stallion Chilli Morning. The technology can also be used to support rare breed populations as well as being available for cat and dog owners.

Blake Russell, president of ViaGen Pets & Equine, commented: The ability to play a part in reproducing a phenomenal genotype like Arko III is what makes our effort worthwhile. We are very excited to see him grow and develop and make his footprint on the industry. It is a real pleasure to collaborate with great partners like Gemini Genetics and their sister company, Stallion AI Services, to help bring our services to clients around the globe. The relationships that we have developed with partners like Gemini Genetics are what make this venture work for everyone. I hope all can see that cloning technology is a powerful advanced reproductive technology that can bring great opportunity”.

Since 2002, Arko III has been available at stud via world leading equine semen collection and distribution centre, Stallion AI Services.

The birth of Arko’s clone is a truly historic moment for the equine industry worldwide. A stallion of exceptional performance and breeding potential that ordinarily would have been lost to the performance industry upon his death has now been reborn to continue his contribution to elite equine sport. We look forward to his coming years.

For further information on genetic preservation and cloning, available for cats, dogs, horses and ponies, please visit Gemini Genetics via www.geminigenetics.com

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