Similar to other sporting fields, horse racing tracks need tender love and care all year round to ensure they are constantly ready for action. There would have been a lot of work that went into the preparation for the Melbourne Cup at Flemington, for example.
How long does it take for turf to recover?
The intensity and size of each horse race will affect the time it takes for the turf to recover. If enough damage has been done, track renovations can take up to a few months, causing delays to already planned races.
Australian horse racing tracks are made from an even amount of artificial and natural grass, both which require differing levels of maintenance.
1. Artificial turf
Artificial turf on a horse racing track needs to be made from durable and resilient materials that will withstand the damage created by horses during the races.
It’s ideal for the grass to have a specially engineered profile made up of multiple layers that work together to provide the right amount of drainage, reinforcement and surface strength.
After each race, a delicate process of mowing, fertilising, aerating and irrigating takes place.
Machinery such as the Wiedenmann Terra Float is ideal for aerating the soil as it creates a neat, even cut and promotes fast and sturdy regrowth.
2. Natural grass
For naturally turfed tracks, recovery processes begin as soon as the horses and jockeys step off the grass.
Similar to the synthetic stuff, natural turf needs to be mowed, fertilised, aerated and irrigated regularly to allow for optimum grass regrowth.
Unlike artificial lawn, natural grass is further affected by bad weather events (i.e. heavy rainfall). If a horse racing track gets drenched between races it will require extra maintenance and therefore extend the recovery period.
All good horse racing tracks need good turf machinery. QTurf is Australia’s leading supplier of turf machinery and Australian / NZ Wiedenmann distributor.