The new title sponsor of the prestigious Burghley International Horse Trials (1-4 September, ’05) is the 4×4 vehicle specialist Land Rover.

The sponsorship agreement is for the next three years and will help the event, which is one of just a handful of four-star events around the world, continue to grow and improve, according to Burghley committee chairman Malcolm Wallace.

“On the world stage Burghley is second to none,” says Wallace. “It is the most exciting event of its size in the autumn season. It is the involvement of a commercial partner of the magnitude of Land Rover that allows the event to continue to make significant strides forward year-on-year.”

The arrival of the new sponsor coincides with the return of former Burghley course designer, Captain Mark Phillips, who will be in charge of the challenge facing the world’s top riders on Burghley’s famous cross-country course for the same period as that of the sponsorship agreement (2005-2007).

“It gives me great pleasure to be associated with Land Rover, a company I have been involved with for 25 years, on my return to Burghley as course designer,” says Capt Phillips. “Plans for the cross-country course are well advanced and I’m looking forward to presenting them later in the year.”

Land Rover is also sponsoring this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show as part of its ongoing support of equestrian events, although budgetary constraints forced the company to end its long-standing association with point-to-pointing last year. The Burghley sponsorship package is understood to cost the company around £1million across the next three years.

For all the latest information about Burghley Horse Trials, including online ticket booking from 3 May, visit: www.burghley-horse.co.uk