The Trustees of Blenheim Palace today announced that The Jockey Club has been awarded a five-year contract as organisers of the prestigious Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials from 2021, following a competitive tender process.
The Jockey Club, founded in 1750 and with Her Majesty The Queen as its Patron, is one of the largest organisations in British sport and stages more than 340 horseracing fixtures each year, along with thousands of other events at its 15 venues nationwide.
The Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials is a pinnacle of the eventing calendar and normally takes place over four days in September each year. The Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 event.
The fixture includes FEI-accredited and internationally-recognised competitions; a CCI4*-L (four-star Long) and CCI4*-S for eight and nine-year-old horses (four-star Short).
The 2019 CCI4*-L competition was won by one of Britain’s leading event riders, Piggy March, with her then ten-year-old gelding, Brookfield Inocent. The 2019 CCI4*-S was won by Australian Chris Burton and his nine-year-old, Clever Louis.
Roy Cox, Estates Director, Blenheim Palace, said:
“The International Horse Trials is one of our most prestigious events, attracting world class riders to compete in this iconic competition.
“We are delighted its future has been secured and have every confidence The Jockey Club, with its rich history and wealth of experience, working alongside British Eventing, is the perfect combination to ensure this great event which contributes so much to the local area continues to thrive.”
Ian Renton, The Jockey Club’s Regional Managing Director, whose role includes the running of nearby Cheltenham Racecourse, said:
“It truly is a great honour to be appointed to organise the Blenheim Palace Horse Trials for the next five years. We look forward to working closely with Blenheim Palace and British Eventing to ensure the event has a fantastic future.
“As a company we welcome nearly four million people a year to events at our venues and our team are excited to put on a fantastic show at Blenheim in keeping with the international prestige of both the Horse Trials and the Palace itself.
“With the Home of Jump Racing just 40 miles away I’m also confident there are economies of scale and cross-promotional opportunities from this partnership.
“Overall we’re thrilled to be involved and thank the Blenheim Palace and British Eventing team for placing their faith in us.”
Jude Matthews, Chief Executive of British Eventing, said:
“Blenheim Place International Horse Trials is a key fixture in the British Eventing calendar, showcasing some of the most talented horse and rider combinations in the world. The event has been established over many successful years and we look forward to working with The Jockey Club to continue this development and to potentially bring our sport to a wider audience.”
The Blenheim Palace Horse Trials will take place from the 16th -19th September, 2021.