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Pedigree Masterfoods has decided, after sponsoring Eventing since 1987 and the Burghley Pedigree Horse Trials since 1995, that 2001 will be the last year of their title sponsorship programme within the sport.

The company will continue to remain involved in Horse Trials from 2002 through its support of the Winergy Young Event Horse competition, which incorporates 20 regional heats and a final at Burghley. It also plans to maintain a presence at Burghley together with running the ever-popular Pedigree Fun Agility competition, which has raised over £40,000 for the Horse Trials Support Group.

Michael Jenkins, Head of External Affairs, commented: "Pedigree Masterfoods has supported Eventing for fifteen years, including seven years at Burghley Horse Trials, which have been immensely enjoyable. We believe that the partnership has been mutually beneficial but now feel, after such a lengthy innings that it is time to move on. Consequently 2001 will be our last year as title sponsors of Burghley and the Pedigree Horse Trials series. We greatly value the relationship we enjoy with all our event organisers and wish them every success in the future. We hope that by giving them at least 16 months notice before their events in 2002, that this will allow them sufficient time to look for another commercial partner.

The company is determined that 2001 will be at least as successful as previous years and looks forward to continuing to support the sport in other ways from 2002 onwards."

Speaking on behalf of Burghley Horse Trials, Event Director, Bill Henson said: “Naturally we are disappointed at Pedigree’s announcement but we have valued their support hugely. During the period of Pedigree’s involvement with the event, Burghley’s profile has increased enormously and with our new 3 year BBC TV contract in place, we are confident that we will be able to secure a new sponsorship agreement well in advance of the event in 2002.”

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