VOLUME 9 - 2016-2017 - ISSUE 1

9 Ky. J. Equine, Agric. & Nat. Resources L. 1 (2017).


Article Written By: Lewis T. Stevens

On April 23, 2012, after the American Quarter Horse Association declined to change its rules regarding the registration of the get of clones, Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture, Abraham Equine, Inc., and Jason Abraham filed a complaint in the United States District Court of the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division, against the American Quarter Horse Association (“AQHA”). Just over a year later, Judge Mary Lou Robinson entered a final judgment affirming the verdict of a unanimous ten-person jury in favor of Plaintiffs, which awarded attorneys’ fees and costs, but no damages. Judge Robinson also enjoined the AQHA from enforcing Rule 227(a), and ordering the AQHA to amend specific rules to permit registration of the get of clones. On January 15, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court and entered judgment in favor of the AQHA. The Fifth Circuit also denied petitions for a rehearing and a rehearing en banc. 

The first issue this paper will address is how the diametrically opposed decisions of the Jury and the Fifth Circuit could be based on the same factual record. Of course, the possible explanations are purely speculative, but exploring the background of cloning and the litigation helps illuminate both the Jury verdict and the Fifth Circuit Opinion. The second issue this paper will address is the possible future of cloning and whether the Fifth Circuit Opinion has permanently closed the door on the registration of the get of clones.