British Eventing (BE) will suffer a large reduction in income next year when the Burghley Estate takes over the running of the world-famous horse trials.

Since it was founded in 1961, Burghley has been run by BE and, before that, the British Horse Society.

The event made around £380,000 profit for BE in 2009 — more than the organisation’s operating profit for the year, £345,955.

But now Burghley Horse Trials Ltd, set up in 2009, will run the event for the Burghley Estate from January 2011.

BE chief executive Mike Etherington-Smith told H&H: “Our agreement with Burghley allows either side to terminate it with two years’ notice.”

He said Burghley signalled its intention to go it alone a while ago.

“Since then, we have been talking about the dependence, or support, the sport has on income from Badminton and Burghley and coming up with ways to deal with it,” he said.

“We shall still be getting a big chunk of income from Burghley, but its loss will be felt.”

It is not known how much income will be generated for BE under the new arrangement, but Badminton Horse Trials, which is run on a similar basis, contributed £170k last year.

Burghley director Elizabeth Inman said: “It is the 50th anniversary of the event next year and it is definitely business as usual. The event will still have a huge input from BE.”

Major Malcolm Wallace will stand down after nine years as chairman of the former committee to become a vice-president of the event.

Chairman of the new organising committee Richard Jewson said: “The new structure offers an excellent opportunity to invest in the future of both the event and the sport.”

This article was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound, 9 December 2010