A select group of horses in Australia will soon be travelling in the lap of luxury, aboard a new $A1.1 million horse truck.
Rivenlee Floats, in West Gosford, New South Wales, has produced the three-level semi-trailer for the owner of a northern Queensland cattle property who has an interest in the horse sport of camp drafting.
It is believed to be the biggest horse truck made in Australia.
Rivenlee Floats owner Peter Jakins said the buyer wanted the best, and he believed his firm had delivered just that.
The firm took 10 months to complete the vehicle, with an average of five or so staff working on it at any one time.
The lower level comprises room for 14 horses, finished in stainless steel, and accommodation for two strappers.
Upstairs, the truck boasts two bedrooms and a lounge-kitchen area.
Jakins told Horsetalk that the maximum permissible height in Australia for a truck was 4.3 metres, so the entire 48-foot roof of the semi-trailer was built to be able to be lifted by hydraulics a further 1.1 metres to provide full headroom in the upstairs area.
The third level, which can be accessed by an attic ladder, comprises a viewing platform, complete with stainless steel fold-up handrails. There are also anchor points for large umbrellas to provide spectators with shade.
In all, the semi-trailer can sleep six.
There are no problems with ablutions – there are two bathrooms – and it even has a second kitchen.
There is a built-in barbecue for those warm evenings and it carries its own yarding which can be erected.
Jakins says the unit is pulled by a Mercedes prime mover (tractor unit).
Rivenlee Floats was founded 15 years ago in Gosford, north of Sydney. It has now a second base, further north in Armidale.