Innovative training system for British racehorses

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  • An innovative training system for racehorses is being constructed in Lambourn and is on target to be completed within the year.

    Turkish racehorse owner Mehmet Kurt is building the pioneering machine, called the “Kurtsystem” (pictured), at Kingwood Stud — which he has owned since 2011.

    The method — which has cost £20m to develop — involves horses being loosely tethered within spacious cabins that are powered by an overhead monorail. The speed can be set from walk to canter around an oval circuit of just under a mile.

    “The wet weather over Christmas didn’t help but we are still looking at completion in 2016. We have also been working closely with the Royal Veterinary College throughout,” said Kurtsystem spokesman Tony Lodge.

    “Mr Kurt has had a lifelong desire to improve the pre-training of racehorses. This is based around experiences in Turkey, when he witnessed far too many young racehorses suffering from injuries, over-intensive training and human error, which prematurely ended their racing careers.

    “The Kurtsystem is designed to introduce young racehorses to training gradually under a pre-designed racing programme. Mr Kurt believes putting work riders on a horse under two years old can put too much stress on them at a young age.”

    Nicky Henderson is among the Lambourn handlers who are looking forward to seeing the project in action.

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    “It is a very novel idea and highly interesting,” Nicky told H&H.

    “It is great for Lambourn to have an extra available training facility. In particular, I am interested in the new technology it could offer such as measuring heart rate during a horse’s exercise or even scoping it to test breathing — I would certainly find that useful.

    “However, being a jumps yard we don’t have yearlings or two-year-olds, so I am not sure how else it would fit into our training.”

    Ref: H&H 3 March, 2016

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