Second Jacobsen Wide Area Mower for Newbury Racecourse

Peter Driverin Equestrian

NewburyRichard Osgood, clerk of the course and estate manager at Newbury Racecourse, has returned to his local Ransomes Jacobsen dealer - TH White Ltd of Reading - for a new Jacobsen HR-9016 ride-on rotary mower for maintaining the turf on his Flat, National Hunt and golf courses. Ransomes Jacobsen is a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company.

The HR-9016 is a triple deck wide area mower, ideal for racecourse mowing as it has a 81 hp turbocharged Kubota diesel engine, a working width of over 5 metres and an impressive work rate of 16.5 acres (6.7 hectares) per hour.

Richard Osgood purchased the original HR-9016 back in March 2001 and it has provided more than nine years of sterling service mowing not only on the racecourses but also the rough and semi-rough on the 18-hole golf course that forms an integral part of the Newbury complex.

Groundsman Barry Mason is the principal operator of the wide area mower and said, "Our old machine has 6,500 hour on the clock and has served us brilliantly, but it is now showing its age and will be semi-retired and used for golf course duties and as a back-up to the new 9016."

Richard Osgood added, "We have been very pleased with the old machine, but it was time to upgrade and we looked at all the options available from the major manufacturers. We all agreed that the new 9016, with its turbocharged engine, work-rate and air-conditioned cab, was the machine for us. We've reduced the cutting time by a further half an hour, so to mow each course now takes around three hours.

"We mow at 4½ inches in the summer and increase that to 5½ to 6 inches for the winter regime. We also alternate the direction of cut each time we mow the course and I find this ensures that the grass stands up and provides a good cushion for the horses. The quality of cut from the 9016 is excellent and I'm delighted with the sward it produces. One point worth expressing is the service we get from the TH White team, which is always exemplary."

The youngest member on the grounds staff is Robin Moore, who works mainly on the golf course. With the support of his employer he has recently attained NVQ Level 2 in Sports Turf Management at Sparsholt College, where he was acclaimed student of the year.

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