Chatsworth International Horse Trials has secured a three-year sponsorship deal with SsangYong, the luxury and performance four-wheel drive vehicle specialist.

The prestigious event is held annually at the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire in Derbyshire, and takes place this year from May 15-16.

The Korean car company makes its first foray into international eventing at Chatsworth, and the deal represents a six-figure sum to support the event up until 2006.

Tom Martin, director of SYUK says: “We’ve been very impressed with what the sport of eventing has to offer and with the professionalism of the team at Chatsworth, and are looking forward to promoting the horse trials and to developing a partnership with the estate.”

Although the Chatsworth Horse Trials first took place in the 1980s, the fixture only became an established part of the eventing calendar when the event was reinstated in 1999.

Since then, Chatsworth has gone from strength to strength, and this year, will host the first European leg of the 2004 World Cup series of CICs as well as novice and advanced classes.

Event director Mike Etherington-Smith explains the benefits of the new sponsorship deal: “The arrival of SsangYong is very good news for us. It’s exciting to welcome a completely new name into the sport and this sponsorship will help us with our continuing plans to further enhance and develop the event.”