As home to the world’s most famous horse race for more than 130 years running, Churchill Downs has long been an American institution. Ever since the first Kentucky Derby was run there in 1875, this granddaddy of all horse tracks has been a Mecca for millions who thrive on the finest in thoroughbred competition.
Now Hunter has the inside track at this legendary course. Following a massive $121 million renovation project last year to modernize its venerable grandstand and clubhouse, Churchill Downs officials announced plans to not only upgrade the irrigation system on its seven-furlong main turf track, but to switch to a single manufacturer to make routine maintenance easier.
After extensive field-test comparisons—and even some hefty incentives offered by the competition as they jockeyed for position—the overall durability and consistently strong performance of Hunter’s products separated it as the winner from the “also-rans.” The project was completed last spring, and now the turf track is home to Hunter rotors—exclusively.
“We had been consistently switching out the other brands and changing to Hunter rotors,” says Kevin Browning, grounds manager at the Louisville, Kentucky landmark. Currently, there are about 90 Hunter I-90s and G-95 golf rotors in operation on the main turf track, according to Browning. These hefty rotors have earned a reputation for their winning combination of long-distance coverage (almost 100 feet) and superior durability.
An additional 90 of Hunter’s new six-inch I-40 stainless steel rotors, equipped with opposing nozzles for superior coverage, are now keeping the turf track greener than the payout booths. As the newest addition to the I-40 line, these six-inch versions have a taller pop-up height, making them the perfect choice for grounds superintendents who are raising mowing heights.
“We’re now keeping the turf heights about six to eight inches high, so these I-40s are the ideal ticket for this track,” says Browning. Plus, with the ability to deliver water accurately and efficiently at distances of up to 70 feet, the six-inch I-40s have the same durable construction that has made the I-25 and I-40 the odds-on favorites at sports complexes the world over.
Product quality and an emphasis on longstanding customer relationships were the two contributing factors that propelled Hunter across the finish line first at Churchill Downs. In fact, the track’s next irrigation project will focus on the 25-acre infield, and Hunter is sure to be a strong contender for that project, says Browning.
So stay on track by using a winning combination of trusted Hunter products on your next job. Whether it’s large or small, the payoff will always be big!