|photo by Jonathan Becker via Vanity Fair|
I think cloning is a little sketchy, but it's also an interesting emerging technology. It's banned by all major competitive equine organizations for fairly obvious and excellent reasons, whether you want to talk about the lack of genetic diversity or the ethical issues of cloning or the simple fact that we don't understand it well enough to do much with it.
Polo is a unique combination of filthy rich participants who don't blink at the 80k per clone price tag, high intensity sport that tests the endurance and durability of the animal, and horsemen who are invested in taking excellent care of their charges.
What will happen? What will we learn? I have no idea and I'm pretty excited this is going on.
|photo by Skip Dickstein via Bloodhorse|
Whatever you think of the guy personally, no one can contest that he has competed at a very demanding sport at a very high level for a very long time and understands the demands that are put on an athlete. Again, he brings money to an admittedly already-rich sport, but what he's proposes is intruiging--instead of backtracking and loping and the occasional work, he thinks equine athletes would benefit from the same level of training that human athletes do.
Things like hill work. Sprints. Terrain.
Mixing things up to create a stronger athlete all around who stays sounder for longer.
I know there's pushback in the horse world against these methods on the logic that an equine athlete can't communicate and take care of itself the same way a human can, but as Bode points out, our monitoring abilities have improved drastically. With the money behind you to do it right (I suspect vets are making BANK on imaging here), this idea is super cool.
Will it work? Will it help rejuvenate racing? What can we learn here?
I want to know.
|photo from Megan's blog. used by permission.|
This is a comprehensive post by the blogosphere's own Megan at A Enter Spooking. As an adult ammy who struggle(s)(d) through my own fear issues, it was liberating to read through another approach that was both intelligent and articulate.
It's such a common issue, but it doesn't have to be the end of the line for nervous riders. I love this summation and I think it should be required reading for owners, riders, and trainers alike.
That's my list of fascinating reading for the time being. What else should I be looking at?