A clone of champion show jumper Gem Twist is the newest addition to the stable of horses cloned by Cryozootech, a French company that banks equine genetic material. The company announced the clone's birth Sept. 15.
Gem Twist, a grey Thoroughbred gelding, was named “Horse of the Year” three times, won two silver medals at the Seoul Olympic Games, and was named “World's Best Horse” at the 1990 World Equestrian Games. His riders included Greg Best, Leslie Howard, and Laura Chapot. He was retired at New York's Madison Square Garden on Nov. 1, 1997.
As the original Gem Twist was gelded at an early age, his genetic material was never passed on. However, as a genetic replica, the clone will allow the champion's exact genes to enter the breeding pool.
Cryozootech Founder Eric Palmer proposed the idea of cloning Gem Twist to the horse's owners, Frank and Mary Chapot, in 2006. They immediately approved the project.
Gem Twist was euthanized Nov. 18, 2006, at age 27. He died at the site of his birth, the Chapot family farm in New Jersey.