A commemorative plaque has been unveiled by the Duchess of Beaufort on the grounds of the Badminton Horse Trials, marking the event’s 25-year association with Mitsubishi Motors. Surrounding the plaque is a mixture of 25 oak, beech, maple and lime trees.
The Badminton Horse Trials was first launched in 1949, when the 10th Duke of Beaufort had the idea to hold an event at his Gloucestershire Estate in order that British riders could train for future international events, particularly the Olympics. Now, Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials is one of the most prestigious three-day-events in the world and one of the biggest dates in the eventing calendar.
Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, based in Cirencester, took over the main sponsorship of the event in 1992, initially for three years; however 25 years on, they remain strong as the title sponsor.
The Duchess, a gardener herself, commented on the commemoration: “The Duke and all of his family are delighted that a copse of 25 trees has been planted on Badminton Estate to mark the 25 years of partnership with Mitsubishi Motors. Badminton Estate is home to many hectares of woodland, thousands of trees, and so it is a fitting way to mark this special anniversary.”
Mitsubishi Motors UK Managing Director Lance Bradley said the 25-year milestone was a great achievement in any partnership.
“To do it in the sporting arena is truly remarkable. Badminton has become completely ingrained in what we do, the partnership has grown way beyond a simple sponsorship,” he said.
“We wanted to do something special to mark our first 25 years with Badminton that would be an enduring reminder of the partnership. Planting these trees on such a beautiful estate seemed perfect. Unveiling the plaque is very special because it is something that is going to be there forever.”
Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials Director Hugh Thomas said the plantation would take a long time to mature, but “it will be a fitting memory of Mitsubishi’s first 25 years with us and it will last for a very long time”.