Mitsubishi Motors is to withdraw as title sponsor of Badminton Horse Trials after the 2019 event, after a record 28 years of support.

Badminton celebrates its 70th anniversary from 1 to 5 May next year, but this will be the last time Mitsubishi Motors is in the driving seat.

“It is always sad when a very successful partnership comes to an end, and especially when over the years event and sponsor have developed a genuine friendship,” said event director Hugh Thomas.

“But when one door closes, another one opens and it will be exciting to see where that leads.”

During its time as title sponsor, Mitsubishi Motors has “played an enormous role in maintaining the prestige of this ultimate test of all round horsemanship”, a Badminton spokesman said.

The event has enjoyed record attendances in recent years, including 185,000 spectators at the 2018 competition.

Rob Lindley, Mitsubishi Motors in the UK managing director, said: “We have had an outstanding collaboration with Badminton Horse Trials and it has played an important part in raising the profile of our brand and our vehicles over the years.

“Badminton 2019 will be as prestigious as ever and we wish the event the greatest success for the future.”

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Since Mitsubishi Motors took the role of title sponsor in 1992, the event has been won three times by Pippa Funnell and Mark Todd, twice by William Fox-Pitt and Mary King and once by Ginny Elliott, Bruce Davidson, David O’Connor, Chris Bartle, Ian Stark, Andrew Hoy, Lucinda Fredericks, Nicolas Touzaint, Oliver Townend, Paul Tapner, Jonathan Paget, Sam Griffiths, Michael Jung, Andrew Nicholson and Jonelle Price.

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