By Andrew Liszewski
At first glance you might think that the horse in the above photos is pulling a ridiculously over-designed carriage, but in reality it’s actually a training vehicle designed by Roush Technologies for Turkish-based Kurt Systems who trains race horses and camels. The vehicle provides trainers and veterinarians with a close-up view of the animal while it’s moving and allows them to continually monitor its vital signs at precisely controlled speeds from a walking pace all the way up to 60kph.
The striking and unusual looking machine incorporates a number of innovative and unique vehicle systems, as well as a diesel engine, automatic transmission and a spacious luxury cabin for a crew of three. Weighing in at around 4 tonnes, the vehicle effectively provides a moving enclosure similar to a starting stall, in which the animal can walk, trot or full gallop freely in a controlled environment, whilst being monitored and trained to optimise race performance.
The spacious cabin, which is mounted rearward of the horse, includes 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 computerised heart, blood, oxygen and fitness monitoring. The unit also carries a range of precision hydraulically controlled accessories, such as a silicone saddle to simulate jockey weights.
The training vehicle also features electronically controlled reins which ensure that the horse is being steered in the same direction as the vehicle at all times. Since it was custom built for Kurt Systems I can only assume that the Roush Horse Trainer comes with a pretty high price tag, but given how competitive and lucrative horse racing can be, I have to wonder if they’ve signed Roush to an exclusive deal when it comes to the actual design.