Cross-posted from TheHorse.com
Written by MARIE ROSENTHAL, MS
Lukas, a 17-year-old Thoroughbred gelding who stands 16.2 hands, may well be the smartest horse in the country–maybe the world, and owner-trainer Karen Murdock is trying to get him into the Guinness World Records for “Most numbers identified by a horse in one minute.”
On June 16, Lukas was able to identify a correct number at least 18 times.
“The counter said 20, but I think he skimmed two of them,” said Murdock of Southern California. “I don’t know how stringent the Guinness World Records will be. He got between 18-20 correct, which is about average for him.”
Lukas’ journey from broken-down rescue to smartest horse was a long, hard road and can be an inspiration for anyone, Murdock said. “Lukas overcame adversity and that can help our character. It is never too late for any of us.”
He ran three races as a 2-year-old and bowed both front tendons, ending his career. He was found years later filthy and emaciated in a back yard by a woman who took pity on him.
She tried to rehabilitate him for her jumping program-but he was obstinate and dangerous. She sold him to Murdock eight years ago.
“He was a handful,” Murdock said, “but I fell in love with him. Basically, I had to un-train him and use tricks and play to change his attitude and to build a bond with him.”
Lukas has been listed on Yahoo, Google and the World Records Academy as “The World’s Smartest Horse.” He counts, spells, identifies shapes, discriminates colors and grasps the concepts of same/different, proportion and absentness, she said. Read more >>