Two mules that were cloned were entered at the 20th annual Winnemucca Mule Races, Show & Draft Horse Challenge. In first time ever of a professional competition between clones each one won their qualifying heats, but in the finals of the 8,500 dollars competition on Sunday in U.S they lost to the traditionally bred mules.
It was reported that one of the mule, Idaho Gem, the world's first equine clone, had covered his 350-yard sprint in 21.246 seconds, and finished third while Idaho Star clocked 22.181 seconds and ended up seventh. The wining mule Bar JF Hot Ticket finished in 20.866 seconds. A crowd of over 1,000 people witnessed the event.
Don Jacklin, a businessman from Idaho who helped finance the cloning project, said that both the animals especially Idaho Gem showed that they had a lot of capabilities. He said that they had proved that they could compete in professional level with regular mules. The researchers have acknowledged the performance of the clones and felt that this would aid immensely in the projects benefits to human cancer research. Kenneth White, a Utah State University professor who conducted the cloning, said that this performance by the clones would make people feel good about cloning.
A mule is the usually sterile offspring of a donkey father and a horse mother. It was informed that these clones were born three years ago and carry identical DNA taken from a fetus that was produced by the same parents that sired a champion mule racer, Enditem.