July 1, 2008 One of the most interesting vehicles we’ve seen in a while is this mobile racehorse training vehicle from Turkish racehorse and camel training equipment specialist Kurt Systems. The mobile race trainer provides a moving enclosure in which a horse can walk, trot or gallop (up to 60kmh) in a controlled environment. The vehicle carries an array of heart, blood, oxygen and fitness monitoring equipment and precision hydraulically controlled accessories, such as a silicone saddle to simulate jockey weights.
The first groundbreaking bespoke vehicle was built by performance engineering specialists Roush Technologies and the unusual 4 tonne diesel-powered machine simply bristles with innovative and unique vehicle systems.
The spacious luxury cabin caters for a crew of three and is mounted rearward of the horse, with a centrally mounted driver’s seat, plus additional seats for a trainer and a veterinary specialist. Onboard systems include 12-volt and 240-volt electrical supplies, to power systems such as computerized heart, blood, oxygen and fitness monitoring.
The open fronted stall section of the vehicle requires linked independent hydraulic steering, combined with electronically controlled reins, to steer the horse in the same direction as the vehicle. The reins are enclosed within two forward curving booms on the body structure, controlled by the driver.
The chassis and running gear comprise a complex, box-section, cross-braced frame, with suspension derived from a Ford F150 series truck. Power is provided by a Volvo 2.4litre, five-cylinder diesel engine, driving through a conventional automotive automatic gearbox – and final drive is delivered via hub reduction on the rear axle only. Speed is precisely controlled from walking pace up to race conditions, up to a maximum 60kph (16 metres per second). The purpose-built body is fabricated primarily from GRP – with the forward ‘stall’ area enclosed by soft, padded, pneumatically controlled arms, which surround the horse when required.
Kurt Systems General Manager, Daniele Camuffo says, “The Kurt Group is the acknowledged world leader in single and multiple equine training systems, which provide horse-welfare sensitive, but scientifically appropriate training regimes for the 21st century racing industry. We turned to Roush in the confidence that its combined range of complementary vehicle and systems experience would provide us with a successful on-track and off-track single-horse trainer, able to meet the increasingly sophisticated demands of the race industry worldwide. These units will now enter serial production and we believe that our approach to controlled environment training will become established practice with many studs and stables at this level”.