Seventeen-year-old thoroughbred gelding Lukas, widely recognized as the world’s smartest horse, now holds the official Guinness World Record title to prove it. Lukas, a former race horse who was rescued by handler Karen Murdock eight years ago, was able to correctly identify 19 numbers in one minute.
To qualify, Lukas had to follow Guinness’ strict guidelines. In part, the organization requires:
- A qualified veterinary surgeon to be on hand.
- No equipment – including a harness of any kind – is allowed in the ring.
- The handler is not allowed to touch or point at the horse.
- A single, verbal request must be made only by the handler.
- The horse must clearly indicate his choice from a series of numbers placed 20 centimeters apart on the ground or table.
- The horse must return to his starting place after each choice is made.
- Only correct responses are counted.
- Numbers are spoken at random and may not be consecutive.
- Two expert witnesses must be on hand.
“I’m very grateful for the help of so many good friends who have helped to bring this about, ” says Murdock. ”We’re fortunate to have had the support of animal lovers all over the world who have sent encouraging messages and given us inspiration. I also want to express my appreciation to Guinness for their acknowledgement of Lukas’ abilities and to Guinness talent manager Louise Ireland for her wonderful assistance.”
On hand for the event were Hadi Khalil, veteran producer at International Production and Advertising, who filmed Lukas’ demonstration; IPA staff photographers and Linda Alexander Walton, who generously donated still pictures; and Lukas’ veterinarian, Dr. Don Scott Vrono, who assisted with overseeing the event. Expert witnesses included Stacey Erb and Kathleen (Tat) Yakutis. After the Finish Line president, Dawn Mellen, was on hand to congratulate Lukas, who dedicated his achievement to ex race horses everywhere.
For more information about Lukas and his extraordinary achievements, please visit www.PlayingWithLukas.com.
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