One of France's leading racecourses has purchased the Imants Shockwave through French machinery distributor Hydraparts, and declared its "excellence" in maintaining the unique course characteristics.
Saint-Cloud Racecourse covers an area of 75 hectares and is situated right in the heart of Paris - the only Parisian racecourse to have the rail on the left.
The racecourse hosts 27 race meetings per year, which represents nearly 2,500 horses competing on the track.
Course Director Jean Guillaume d'Orglandes says: "We wanted to maintain the excellent condition of the soil structure and rootzone without causing da mage or leaving deep impressions on the surface of the track. We chose the Shockwave because it met the criteria."
The track itself covers 19 hectares and is created from the natural soil texture of clay loam, with a high content of organic matter. Renowned for its natural flexibility, there is little problem with drainage - nor is there any issue with intense compaction.
But Jean-Guillaume decided to include the Shockwave as part of the on-going maintenance programme because of its lack of disruption to the surface when it's working.
In recent years the mechanisation of track maintenance has centred on heavy equipment. However, the Shockwave was able to operate at the depth of soil profile they wanted to work - 15 to 25cm maximum.
"Speed of operation per hectare was fast," says Jean-Guillaume. "Our racing calendar leaves little time between meetings to complete the cultivation operations.
"We can use this machine on both the racecourses of France Galop - Longchamp and Auteuil - very efficiently." He continues: "It is quick to set-up and easy to operate. Maintenance is also very simple."
"We have been very satisfied with the speed of recovery of the turf over the slots left by the blades - just 10 days. At the end of 15 days we had achieved good consistent readings indicating excellent soil structure," he said.
"We cancelled th e last scheduled spread of fertiliser because of the positive results created by the Shockwave. Certainly the climatic conditions of this year have been favourable to encourage the regeneration of our turf surfaces, but I am in no doubt that the work of this implement on the root profile has helped improve the mineral content and natural elements of the soil."
The Imants Shockwave is a linear decompactor, designed to revitalise heavy wear areas by relieving soil compaction, improving aeration and removing surface water. It is successfully used on natural sports turf surfaces and the move into treating racecourses is an exciting development.