Coursepaka on a roll at Cheltenham
A revolutionary new turf roller is helping to keep Cheltenham Racecourse in a prime condition for racing.
Designed by Rollason Engineering in consultation with Cheltenham's Head Groundsman Tony Howland, and built by Lynx Engineering, the Coursepaka rolls away hoofmarks after racing, providing the necessary compression without compacting the soil.
This gives a level surface and rejeuvenates the turf without leading to hard patches which can jar the legs of valuable racehorses and prevent free drainage of water from the course.
Used as part of the routine course renovation programme after each meeting, the Coursepaka comprises a set of deflated tyres on a heavy duty, linkage mounted frame.
As Tony Howland explains, it has a number of advantages over other methods:
"We found that Cambridge rollers were compacting the course too much, and had opted for using flotation tyres on our compact tractors to roll away hoofmarks. But with such a large area of course, it was very labour intensive. At 3m wide, the Coursepaka really covers the ground and gives a level finish. And because the tyres flex, and self clean, they don't pick up clods," he says.
Attached to the tractor via a Cat I/II three-point linkage, the Coursepaka is also highly manoeuvrable.
"When using a trailed Cambridge roller, you have to shuttle backwards and forwards around the fences to roll the take off and landing, which can lead to smearing," points out Tony, "But the Coursepaka is simply lifted out of work on the linkage."
Weighing in at just 750kg, the 3m Coursepaka can easily be handled by a 40hp compact tractor, but can be ballasted to 1.25 tonnes for firmer conditions.
It is strongly built by British engineers for a long life, as designer Charlie Rollason explains:
"The deflated tyre packer was originally developed for use on seedbed cultivators in tough agricultural conditions, so it should give many years of service on the racecourse or for a contractor."
Cheltenham now has two Coursepakas which are hard at work preparing the famous track for the highlight of the jump racing season, and Tony Howland believes that this implement would be an asset to any racecourse or to a training yard with gallops to maintain. Its gentle compressing action also works on all weather surfaces, so there are applications for a range of equestrian facilities.
"We can even get on soft ground after racing and start renovating the track ready for the next meeting in no time. It is a big step forward for racecourse maintenance," Tony says.
Priced at £3325 for the 3m model, the Coursepaka will also be available in 2.0 and 2.5m widths later this year.
The Coursepaka offers compression without compaction, smoothing away hoofmarks from the turf.
Designer Charlie Rollason (left) worked with Cheltenham Racecourse's Head Groundsman Tony Howland to develop the Coursepaka.
For more information contact:
Rollason Engineering Ltd
e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rollasonengineering.co.uk