Thursday

A to Z horses – Learning with Lukas


Lukas, a 19-year-old retired Thoroughbred racehorse, holds a Guinness Book of World Record title, but it’s not from the track. Tagged “The World’s Smartest Horse,” the chestnut gelding has earned acclaim for demonstrating spelling, color recognition, spatial and proportional discrimination, and other puzzling abilities. In certified testing, Lukas identified 19 numbers in one minute to set the world record.

During his short racing career, he was registered as Just Ask Mike (Crystal Water x Pauline Revere by Olden Times). But racing glory was not to be for the personable equine. Leaving the track as a two year old with bowed tendons and little prospect for saddle work, Lukas has recovered in spades.

Karen Murdock is Lukas’ owner, or perhaps his business partner, having picked him up as a former rescue horse and urged him back to strength and health and trust.

Some might call Murdock Lukas’ partner in mime, after watching the two play together at liberty. Lukas freely performs bows and curtseys. He catches, fetches, and rears at Murdock’s command. He prances in passage and does the Spanish Walk.

Did I mention Murdock doesn’t even own a whip?

Murdock is the author of Playing with Lukas, a book that traces their training process together.

Lukas is popular with children, welcoming them to visit with him and enjoying their pats and carrots. He’s also become quite a clothes horse, so to speak, as Murdock dresses him up for every holiday imaginable and posts his festive portraits online for his many fans to see.

He’s appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, HLN, MSNBC, NBC, and other TV channels. “Inside Edition” interviewed and covered him, as did reporters from America Online, The Associated Press, The Bloodhorse, Examiner, and many other media outlets. 

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Look at Lukas! Maybe we can all learn something from the peaceful and playful partnership he shares with his patient owner.

Related Items:

Last year’s A to Z post: Look at All That Laundry

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Image/s:
Lukas photos provided by Karen Murdock
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