When Dolly the sheep was first cloned in 1996, a horizon of new possibilities opened for polo. Not that anyone was considering sheep polo. But it didn’t take long for folks to start cloning polo ponies. Now, cloned ponies are becoming more and more common.
The world’s first cloned polo pony was born in 2010. There are more than 200 now. One of them sold for $800,000 at auction in Argentina — a 3-month-old clone of Adolfo Cambiaso’s famous mare Cuartetera. It was the highest price tag ever for a polo pony.
Polo’s governing bodies approved the use of clones years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that they were tested in competition.
And they have passed those tests with flying colors. Just last month, Cambiaso won at the prestigious match at Palermo riding six horses that are all Cuartetera clones.
This cloning thing is clearly not going away, and in fact we will likely see more and more of it.
Our philosophy at the Denver Polo Club has always been to embrace change and roll with the times—we love to change things up a bit and make this ancient, esoteric sport more accessible.
But we, like top players including Cambiaso, are aware of the pros and cons of this whole cloning thing. Change can be good, but unfettered, unconsidered change is dangerous for the future of the game.
Truth is, the top influencers in this sport (people with the top horses, access to cloning resources and deep pockets), as well as we as a global polo community have a lot of thinking to do to figure out what this whole cloning thing should look like down the road.
Read our next blog for a quick rundown of things to consider and potential outcomes.