The Gem Twist story isn’t over

Gem Twist was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 2002. Photo:
Gem Twist was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 2002. Photo:

Gem Twist (1979-2006) was a legendary jumper. Bred by Frank Chapot, this American Thoroughbred gelding had a stellar career as a Grand Prix jumper. His wins included two silver medals at the 1988 Olympics, three “American Grand Prix Association Horse of the Year” titles, and won more than $800,000.

When he was euthanized at the age of 27, everyone thought that was the end of the story. After all, he was a gelding.

Behind the scenes, however, the Chapots were investigating the only way to continue his line: cloning.

In 2006, Cryozootech founder Eric Palmer approached Frank and Mary Chapot with a proposition. He wanted to find exceptional horses for his cloning project who had been gelded, thereby preventing them from producing progeny.

Gemini was born September 15, 2008. Photo by Nancy Jaffer.
Gemini was born September 15, 2008. Photo by Nancy Jaffer.

On September 15, 2008 Gemini was born. The birth of the colt successfully revives the line of Bonne Nuit, an impressive Thoroughbred stud who produced many jumping champions.

The question now remains, how closely will Gemini approximate Gem Twist? Genetically identical, the two horses also will have the same trainer: Frank Chapot. So, with both nature and nurture being very similar, will the results be the same?

One early indication of his talent and propensity for jumping is that the colt has already jumped over the 3’9″ fence of his paddock. That’s something that none of my horses have ever considered and their fencing is a lot lower.

As for his color? Gray horses are generally either black or brown when they are born. Gemini is already starting to gray out.

For more information on Gemini:

Clone of top jumper Gem Twist born

The Great Gem Twist lives again, thanks to modern science

Can Gemini duplicate Gem Twist’s Career?

2 thoughts on “The Gem Twist story isn’t over

  1. That’s really cool.

    TB racing only allows live cover. Does the jumping world have any rules like that which may prevent this horse from competing in the future?

    Is there a chance that even this colt may have to be gelded to help him be a focused performer in the ring?

  2. Just an FYI.

    Your have a couple wrong dates here.

    Gem was born in 1979 not 1997. And he won two silver medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics not 1998.

    Emily, those are good points. Ones that I thought of myself. I don’t think they cloned Gem because they wanted to recreate his career. I believe it was done because they wanted HIM to be able to have offspring and stand stud. Whether or not they show him we will see. It could go either way, Gemini could show amazingly well and really prove that cloning does indeed work, or because he is a stallion, he could turn out to be a completely different horse and not perform well at all in the ring. I would imagine that would thwart the breeding of Gem’s genes.

    I can’t wait to watch!

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