A revolutionary monorail-style racehorse training machine is to be installed at a prestigious stud in Lambourn, England.
Planners have given approval for the 67-hectare Kingwood Stud to install the state-of-the-art system designed by Kurtsystems.
Construction is expected to start in March at the stud operated by 65-year-old Turkish industrialist Mehmet Kurt, who bought the racehorse facility in 2011, we learn at Horsetalk.co.nz.
The training system will operate under a 1500-metre covered track and will be used in the monitoring, development and training of young thoroughbred racehorses. It will also have a role in the rehabilitation of horses.
The horses are teethered into modules attached to the monrail and led around the covered all-weather surface at varying speeds, depending upon what their training or rehabilitation requires.
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Staff members can travel behind the modules and are able to stop the machine at any time. The training can also be closely monitoring on closed-circuit television.
Kurt was behind development of the futuristic system, which has reportedly cost about $US20 million so far. It is understood the Kingwood Stud development will be worth an estimated £10m.
A prototype is already running in Istanbul.
He is said to be convinced of the horse welfare benefits of the computer-controlled hydraulically-operated training system.
He was inspired to developed it because of his concerns around the number of injuries being suffered by his younger bloodstock when they started training. He believes it results from young horses being pushed beyond their capabilities at a young age.
Kurt believes that the machine’s careful control and regulation of the exercise of young horses will help them physically develop better and ultimately make them better able to withstand the load of a full training regime.
The device enables the horses to exercise at a loose rein and weights can be gradually introduced to each horse’s back within each module.
It can run at speeds of up to 35mph and the respiration and heart rate of each horse can be monitored throughout each exercise session.
The Kurtsystems.com website promotes the overhead rail systems as suiting any track geometry, design and length for horses and even camels.
It says it can provide controlled exercise programmes for young stock, riding, jumping, dressage horses and show horses.
Training and pre-training programmes are available racehorses, trotters, endurance horses and camels.