Construction has begun on a £20 million monorail racehorse training system at Kingwood Stud in the British racing centre of Lambourn.
The “Kurtsystem” training innovation is the brainchild of Turkish industrialist Mehmet Kurt, who bought the stud in 2011.
It will operate under a 1500-metre covered track, with the horses tethered into modules attached to the monorail. It allows speeds of up to 35mph and the respiration and heart rate of each horse can be monitored throughout each exercise session.
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.
Development of the futuristic system reportedly cost about $US20 million, and a prototype is running in Istanbul.
Kurt 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 young horses in early training.
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 on a loose rein and weights can be gradually introduced to the horse’s back.