Racecourse Irrigator

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The Briggs Racecourse Irrigator has been developed specifically for the demands of the modern racing World and has been introduced on many courses in the UK and around the world.

Accurate and uniform application across the width and length of the track are essential to provide even going and keep the turf in top condition. With the Briggs Racecourse Irrigation package this is possible in all but the worst weather conditions.

A drive system has been developed to apply very high flow rates at high speed so that the track can be watered as quickly as possible.

The independent drive system also means that the machine can be used on most racecourses without any modification to pumps or underground mains.

Hosereels and booms are all simple to set up and transport, making moving to and from the course quick and easy. The boom is lifted hydraulically onto the hosereel at the end of irrigation with no lifting or carrying involved. The unit can then be towed with a small tractor.

Both the hosereels and booms are supplied with low ground pressure wheels to avoid damage to the course.

Even jumps can be cleared with ease using a hydraulic lift system designed for the purpose. This makes irrigation of landings and take off points simple and accurate.

Bends can be negotiated using bend pegs (shown left) designed specifically for continuous irrigation around the course.

Where electrical power is not economically available we can supply a full range of diesel engine powered pump units. We have tailor made pump controls which allow the pump to keep running whilst the operator is moving the irrigator. The engine can be remotely started or stopped by a mobile phone if this option is purchased.

Features & benefits

  • Uniformity of water application will be 90% or more even in windy conditions and this creates a uniform and safe track.

  • One person can easily set up a machine in approximately 10 minutes.

  • Large water droplets keep wind drift and evaporation to a minimum.

  • The boom and hosereel are always working on dry ground which keeps damage to the course to an absolute minimum.

  • The high flow rate means that on average one machine can apply 5 -10mm of water to a furlong in 1 hour including moving the machine between pulls.

  • On jump courses the hydraulic raising system allows the boom to 'overhang' the jump giving very even application to take off and landing areas.

  • All outlets on the boom can be turned on or off with a ball valve and sections can be folded, allowing the width to be varied to whatever is required.

  • Each outlet on the boom is pressure regulated so that the flow through each nozzle is constant, even at the furthest point from the pump where the pressure is lower.

  • The nozzle package can be set to water more on one side than the other if required which is particularly useful when watering two courses at once.

  • The application rate is varied by controlling the speed the boom is pulled along the track and can be varied from 2 to 30mm.

  • Once the machine is running the operator can get on with another job - the tractor can be moved to do other work whilst irrigation is taking place.

  • All wheels and tyres are the widest available to keep ground compaction to a minimum.

  • The PE pipe is laid down by towing the hosereel away from the boom (which is held in position with wheel chocks). This means a small tractor can be used and there is no ‘traction’ required from the tractor

  • Boom width can be tailored specifically to your track requirements

How it works?

The irrigator consists of a hosereel and a boom. The hosereel supplies the water from the hydrants (positioned at 1 furlong intervals around the track) to the boom through a PE hose and the boom applies the water to the track. The boom straddles the width of the track and has nozzles closely spaced to give a uniform water application across the whole width.

The water is also applied at low pressure to produce a large droplet size so that the wind has a minimal affect on the application pattern. This is the single most important factor in achieving a track with consistent going on the whole racing surface.


The diesel engine drive system on the hosereel is designed to retract the PE hose at speeds of between 50 and 280 metres per hour. The application rate is determined by the retraction speed of the boom. The speed is set on a control panel mounted on the side of the hosereel and this ensures that the retraction speed throughout the run is constant regardless of changes in pressure, ground conditions, or the number of layers of hose on the drum. If the set retraction speed is not reached the controller will close the water supply to the machine, preventing overwatering to any area of the course. At the end of the run the water supply is shut off and the engine stops ready for the operator to set up the next run.

Which choice of machine?

There are a number of factors which determine the quantity of machines required and which model of machine is most suitable for your course. They include the following:

  • Area to be irrigated - width and length of the track
  • Variations in width of the course
  • Application rate required per day / week
  • Time allowed to apply application to the whole track
  • Type of track – flat / hurdle / jumps
  • Existing pump specification – flow and pressure available
  • Watering required on the bends or just on the straights
Why 220 metre hose length?

The hosereels are all supplied with a hose length of 220m of which a maximum of 210 metres should be laid down at one time. Because the hosereel and boom normally work in the centre of the course it is important to prevent soil compaction. One solution is to try to reduce machine weight by limiting the length of the hose.


A major benefit of the relatively short hose length is that there is better hydraulic performance than for machines with longer hoses, giving us the capacity for higher flow rates and faster run times.

Negotiating the bends

Bends are negotiated with the use of a set of bend pegs. These are designed to be as easy to use as possible and are normally set out at 20m intervals as the hose is being laid down around the bend. As the boom approaches a bend peg it lifts the peg out of the ground and carries it along on the pipe until it is removed by the operator. It is possible to set the machine to go around up to a 90 degree bend in one setting. (Please note that the largest diameter hose that we can safely manoeuvre around the bends is 82mm).

Bend Pegs

Set of 10 bend pegs. These allow the hosereel to work around up to a 90 degree bend in one run. The pegs are pushed or knocked in the ground at 15 to 20m intervals.

Engine Drive Equipped With Quiet Pack

Hatz engine equipped with quiet pack significantly reduces the noise pollution - ideal for use when there is domestic housing close by or conferences in the grandstand buildings.

Electro Hydraulic Powerpack

An electrohydraulic power pack can be fitted for easy lifting and lowering of the boom.

Hydraulic Boom Lift System

All booms have the option to have a hydraulic lift system to avoid the wings of jumps and hurdles.

Blanking Plates

Blanking plates to work the boom at a reduced structural width. The boom shown is an 18m boom working at a width of 10.5m.

Diesel Engine Pump

Diesel engine pump units can be supplied with 'constant run' or telephone start systems thus avoiding the need for the operator to return to the pump to restart after moving the hosereel from one run to another.

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