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Kurt set to introduce new training method; BUSINESS MATTERS.

Byline: Howard Wright

NEW investment has arrived in the Lambourn area, thanks to Turkish businessman Mehmet Kurt, and - planning permission permitting - a unique racehorse pre-training method will follow soon in the shape of his revolutionary monorail system.

Kurt, 65, who has won most major races in his home country, bought Kingwood Stud a year ago and recently shipped in six homebred three-year-olds to be trained in Britain.

The first of the batch to carry his blue and white colours, Chronic Flame, who finished sixth at Lingfield yesterday, is one of three trained across the way from Kingwood by Marcus Tregoning.

Another is with Heather Main, and the remaining two, both fillies, are in training with Marco Botti in Newmarket.

"Britain is the cradle of the thoroughbred and horses from here spread the word around the world," Kurt said, explaining why he has uprooted his horses and his family from Turkey to commute between London and Berkshire. "That's why we searched here for the best place to use our training technology.

"We looked at other places, but Lambourn was most suitable because of the weather conditions and the soil, and Kingwood was especially suitable because of the landscape and the fact it is a famous centre with very good trainers."

Kurt took over running his family's industrial and real estate business at the age of 21, on the untimely death of his father, but a keen interest in horseracing also led him into the development of a new method of pre-training preparation, which has been designed, used and refined at his farm near Istanbul for around ten years.

Trademarked as Kurtsystems, its hi-tech structure involves harnessing horses, individually or in pairs but without riders, to a cabin that is propelled at varying speeds around the outdoor synthetic surface from an overhead rail.

Each cabin is equipped with scientific instruments that measure heart rate and respiratory behaviour, which combined with in-built computer software provide a picture of individual health and fitness as horses progress from walking to more strenuous exercise.

Kurt explained: "In other training systems this sort of monitoring is not possible. It particularly develops the horse's muscle and tendons, and in Turkey we've had 100 per cent success with horses that have used the system.

"We used to buy 20 young horses every year to go into training in Turkey, but 80 per cent of them would break down, either physically or psychologically, because they weren't trained the natural way.

"So we decided we had a choice - either to give up the horse business or find a solution.

"This system is my solution, and even from the early days you could see the horses' happiness in their eyes.

"Other horses were stressed, unhappy and giving the impression they were about to go crazy. There was so much difference."

Depending on the timing of the planning process, the system at Kingwood, which would include the most up-to-date design, construction and technology, could be completed for early next year.

Kurt and racing manager Anthony Stroud are looking to buy up to 20 yearlings in the autumn as the first trainee graduates.

However, the facility will be available to anyone in the Lambourn area, Kurt stressed.

"It will be completely open, and for use by horses requiring rehabilitation and rest, not just training," he added, explaining that the long-term aim is to make the Kingwood project a showplace for Kurtsystems.

Stroud concluded: "I can't over-explain how important it is that we have a new person from a different country bringing new equipment into this country. It's a big endorsement of British racing."

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Mehmet Kurt: "It develops the horse's tendons and muscles" Horses exercise on the revolutionary high-tech Kurtsystems monorail
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 29, 2012
Words:618
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