The Roush name is more commonly associated with modified Ford Mustangs in the US, but Roush Technologies in the UK has just completed a bespoke vehicle for Turkish-based, Kurt Systems - a leader in racehorse and camel training equipment.
The ground-up, turnkey project involved the design, development and build of a mobile race trainer to enable the continuous monitoring of an animal at speeds of up to 37mph.
The unusual looking machine incorporates a number of unique vehicle systems. It's powered by a diesel engine, has an automatic transmission and a space for a crew of three. Weighing around 4 tonnes, it provides a moving enclosure similar to a starting stall, in which the animal can walk, trot or gallop in a controlled environment, while being monitored and trained to optimize race performance.
The cabin, which is mounted behind the horse, includes a centrally mounted driver's seat, plus additional seats for a trainer and veterinary specialist. Onboard systems include 12- and 240-volt electrical supplies to power systems such as computerized heart, blood, oxygen and fitness monitoring. The unit also carries a range of hydraulically controlled accessories, such as a silicone saddle to simulate jockey weights.
The open-fronted stall section of the vehicle requires linked independent hydraulic steering, combined with electronically controlled reins, to steer the horse in the same direction as the vehicle. The reins are enclosed within two curving booms on the body structure, controlled by the driver.
The chassis and running gear comprise a complex, box-section, cross-braced frame, with suspension derived from a Ford F-150 truck. Power is provided by a Volvo 2.4 liter, five-cylinder diesel. Speed is precisely controlled from walking pace up to race conditions, to a maximum 16 meters per second (37mph). The purpose-built body is fabricated primarily from GRP.
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