The Kurtsystem has revolutionised the way young racehorses are prepared for training and is the result of 20 years of research and development into the welfare of the thoroughbred during the essential pre-training stage. The system allows horses to work at varying speeds, from trot to canter, in a closely monitored ‘cabin’ that is lead round a mile long all weather surface. The Kurtsystem removes human error from this vital stage of training and aims to help young horses develop stronger joints, bones and muscles to avoid breakdowns when they begin their full race training.
Knights Brown was appointed to create the 1.2km oval track, which is covered by a steel frame and roof cladding. A monorail is hung from the steel frame with five horse cabins and an operator’s cabin. This allows ten riderless horses to be exercised right- or left-handed on the six-furlong artificial surface.
Our works involved a cut and fill operation to moderate the track gradient, which fell from north to south with the track being cut about 2.5 m into the ground at the northernmost curve and sitting on a slight embankment at its southern tip. Excavated material was used to raise the track above ground level at the opposite end. Land drains were laid under the track formation to intercept surface water running into the cutting and discharge it to a soakaway trench.
All surplus excavated material was reused at the low end of the track to raise the central area to track level. The track formation was stabilised with a proprietary binder material mixed into the subsoil and the track bed was formed using a Type 3 material to facilitate drainage under the equestrian surfacing, which was retained with timber edgings.
Approximately 400 concrete pad foundations and bolt sets were installed to fix the steel portals supporting the roof and monorail system. As principal contractor, we managed the delivery, installation and commissioning of the monorail system and the operator and horse cabins which were carried out by specialist contractors from the UK and Germany.