He?s a horse who can talk
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
NO-ONE can talk to a horse, of course.
That is, of course, unless the horse is the Everon Park Emperor from Barry Conlan's Bonnie Downs Arabian Stud at Tuckarimba, south of Lismore.
Emperor, as he is known for short, can answer 'yes' or 'no' questions and tell you how old he is by stomping his hoof 11 times.
"He doesn't like beer but he does like girls," said Mr Conlan.
"I ask him if he likes beer and he shakes his head and I ask him if he likes girls and he nods."
Barry and Emperor will spend the next month-and-a-half putting the finishing touches on all of their tricks for their starring role in Lismore's North Coast National Arena Spectacular from October 19-22.
But Mr Conlan said it's not an easy job.
The pair spend at least an hour a day together practicing everything from bowing to standing on boxes.
"You wouldn't think he's a stallion because he doesn't play up, but that's because he knows I'm the boss," said Mr Conlan.
"I've got his respect and I never go to him, he always comes to me.
"It also helps that's he's smart and when I teach him something he wants to know more and wants to know what comes next."
Mr Conlan said Emperor's in- telligence ran in his Arabian genes.
His father was champion stallion Domanixy, of Murwillumbah's Everon Park stud, who won a string of prizes at shows in Queensland and NSW throughout his 29-year life.
Emperor has also won a swag of awards, but Mr Conlan said he still hadn't achieved his ultimate goal.
"He can kick a ball with his back legs and he's got a lot of power and aim," he said.
"So I'd like to see him open a soccer game by kicking the first goal into the nets.
To hire Emperor for your event phone 6683 2721.
The North Coast National is supported by The Northern Star.