Blenheim course-designer Eric Winter says it is a “dream come true” to be appointed to take on the role at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials from next year.

Mr Winter has been appointed to take over from Giuseppe Della Chiesa, who after three years in which he “successfully brought a fresh eye to Badminton Park” felt unable to accept the invitation to continue.

The 53-year-old, who celebrated his birthday yesterday (17 May) has designed the course at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials for 10 years.

During that time, he has also designed for the Asian Games, two European Pony Championships, a European junior and a European young rider championships.

He was technical delegate at Badminton from 2011 to 2014 and completed the event as a rider in 1991.

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He said: “It is a great honour to be asked to design the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton course – it is such an iconic event.

“I first visited Badminton in 1974 –my first ever taste of eventing. In recent years I have been involved in several different roles and have got to know the team behind the scenes very well.

“To be asked to design here is truly a dream come true and I am extremely thankful to all those involved for giving me this opportunity. I am really looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

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Mr Della Chiesa said it had been an honour to be offered the chance to continue as Badminton course-designer after the “privilege” of three years in the role.

He added: “But, sadly, I am not able to go on due to shifting life priorities and new personal commitments.

“Being also a true believer in the benefits of changing course designers from time to time, I wish Eric all success.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Duke of Beaufort, Hugh Thomas and all the very special Badminton team for their trust and support through this challenging and rewarding journey.

“Last but not least a very special thank you goes to James Willis and all the Willis Bros without whom nothing would have been possible. It has been a real pleasure to work with all of them.”