The future of racing? New £20m machine puts horses through their paces

Horses use the Kurtsystem. Credit: ITV News
  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn

Young racehorses are being put through their paces in Berkshire, but it's not jockeys who are doing the training, instead it's a machine designed by rollercoaster engineers.

While the Kurtsystem may look like something from a theme-park, at £20 million it is more than just a bit of fun and is designed to eliminate jockeys' human error from the pre-training of racehorses.

Currently many young racehorses do not make it to the track and it is hoped that the new machine could increase the number that do.

Based at Kingswood Stud in Lambourn, the Kurtsystem can take up to 10 horses at a 30mph gallop around the the 1.5km (just short of one mile) covered track, and is designed to improve the joint, bone and muscle strength of young horses, issues which can halt their careers.

The covered track is 1.5km long. Credit: ITV News

"A lot of young horse have injuries at the beginning of their training because they are not ready to start the real training," explained Daniele Camuffo, General Manager of Kurtsystems.

Adding that it is hoped that the machine will help to "make the horses stronger".

Daniele Camuffo, General Manager of Kurtsystems explained that the machine is designed to reduce injury. Credit: ITV News

Already the machine has garnered much attention within the racing industry, with champion jockey Sir AP McCoy branding it "amazing".

The former Grand National winner continued: "I never thought I'd see something like this in my lifetime.

"To train a racehorse or to be successful in any sport, it's all about repetition that makes you successful, but whether this works, we'll have to wait and see."

Sir AP McCoy has branded the Kurtsystem 'amazing'. Credit: ITV News

At present a vet from the Royal Veterinary College has said the Kurtsystem looks to be safe.

By allowing more young racehorses to progress to the race track, it is hoped that the Kurtsystem will improve the welfare of the animals.

The Kurtsystem cost £20 million. Credit: ITV News

British horse racing is a major industry, worth more than £3.45 billion annually to the UK economy, with 85,000 jobs reliant on it, according to the British Horseracing Authority, and if the Kurtsystem proves a success, it is hoped that the machine could be commonplace and revolutionise the training of young racehorses.