The 2005 European Three-Day Event Championships will be held at the Blenheim International Horse Trials in Oxfordshire. The competition returns to Britain after an eight-year gap – it was last held here in 1997.

Blenheim has been a leading three-star three-day event since 1990 and hosted the Young Rider Europeans in 1994.

Blenheim director Mike Etherington-Smith says: “We are thrilled that our efforts at Blenheim over the years have been recognised and we are already making plans for some interesting changes.”

Organising a major event in today’s financial climate is not easy and Etherington-Smith is in discussion with potential sponsors to cover the significant costs.

An application has already been made to UK Sport for financial backing under its major events programme, which has funded this year’s dressage Europeans at Hickstead to the tune of £180,000.

“We hope that UK Sport will look favourably upon our application. It is a great honour to be awarded the championships and we want to put on the sort of facilities for competitors andspectators that an event of this level merits,” he adds.

This year’s PetPlan Blenheim International Horse Trials – which includes the Asia-Pacific Championships, the Olympic qualifier for riders from Australia, New Zealand and Japan – runs from 11 to 14 September.

Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s 12-page Badminton report and comment in this week’s magazine (8 May), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.