November 23, 2010–Lukas, the World’s Smartest Horse (according to The World Records Academy) has done it!! Guinness World Records has officially recognized Lukas’ history making achievement: “Most numbers correctly identified by a horse in one minute.” The seventeen year old ex-racer and former rescue met all the guidelines and identified NINETEEN numbers in less than sixty seconds. Karen Murdock, Lukas’ owner/trainer had quite a list for her beloved gelding during the event. Guidelines for the attempt included the following:
Qualified veterinary surgeon present.
- No equipment whatsoever to be used by the handler (including a halter) – Lukas loose and entirely free in a round pen.
- No touching or pointing by the handler or any other person.
- A single verbal request (a number) solely must be made by the handler.
- The numbers must be placed on the floor/table in front of the horse 20 centimeters apart.
- The horse must return toward center after each number and make a conclusive selection.
- Only correct responses are counted.
- Numbers spoken at random and non-consecutive.
- Two expert witnesses.
- Two expert time keepers with stopwatches accurate to 1/100th of a second.
- Static (non-stopping) filming of entire attempt and focused on attempt at all times.
- Still photographs documenting the above.
Once again, Hadi Khalil, veteran producer at International Production and Advertising was on hand to film this momentous occasion; IPA staff photographers and Linda Alexander Walton generously donated still pictures. Lukas’ veterinarian, Dr. Don Scott Vrono, assisted with overseeing the event. Expert witnesses included Stacey Erb and Kathleen (Tat) Yakutis, timers were Chuck Erb and Doug Murdock. Dawn Mellen, President of After The Finish Line, was on hand as Lukas dedicated his attempt to benefit those less fortunate. According to Murdock, “I’m very grateful for the help of so many good friends who have helped to bring this about. We’re also very 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.
What’s next for the Guinness World Record Holder? Lukas plans to continue to share his message of hope and happiness for all creatures. Will there be another record attempt in the future? Lukas isn’t saying yet, but he is practicing identifying his shapes.