As a result of the hugely successful European Eventing Championship at Blenheim Palace this September, UK Sport were pleased to report to the BE board and the BEF that “The funding of the European Eventing Championships proved to be an excellent investment and was one of the most successful events with which UK Sport has been involved.”

John Scott International Director of UK Sport told the board “The Championships were a real showcase for all the positive advantages that can be gained from hosting major events on home soil. The large crowds were a pleasure to see and their enthusiasm certainly had an effect on the performance of the British team which exceeded even its own high expectations.”

UK Sport delegates were particularly impressed with the friendly atmosphere amongst both competitors and spectators and noted that any perceptions of elitism that may be held against equestrian sports by the general public or media were unfounded, further that they would be pleased to work with the sport to try to emphasize this.

Pat Day, member of UK Sport’s Major Events Panel said 
“This was my first visit to an Eventing Championship and I was impressed with what I saw. What particularly struck me was the friendly and enjoyable atmosphere amongst the large crowd which I was pleased to see included a wide cross-section of society.” She continues  “The general organisation was very efficient, backed up by a considerable number of helpful and committed volunteers.”
Connie St Louis one of UK Sport’s Council Members commented that at her first major equestrian event she was  “Impressed by the hospitable welcome and by the friendliness of the general public.”

UK Sport stated that their objectives in supporting an event are to raise the experience to become a true championship feel and that at Blenheim they felt this was achieved beyond their expectations.
Mike Etherington – Smith Event Director noted that any event, let alone one the size of Blenheim, depended hugely on the support of an army of voluntary help, good sponsors and most importantly supportive public and that he was extremely pleased with the volumes of positive feedback he has received, but commented that without the support of UK Sport it would have been difficult to run an event of the calibre of the European Championships.
The organizers of Blenheim were congratulated on running such a flagship event and Peter Durrant of British Eventing was pleased to say “This event has created a template on which all events should be run”. Particular positive feedback was made on the prudent financial management of the event by its committee and, despite the rain, strong attendance figures were generated as a result of excellent promotional and marketing activities.

Editors Notes:
· The FEI Blenheim International Horse Trials took place at Blenheim Palace Sept 8th – 11th 2005. Eighteen countries sent representative riders to contest the individual and team European Championships.
· Over 60,000 people attended the event and more than 1.6 Million watched the Championship on television in addition to those who watched interactive and reviewed results over the web.
· Results  (Team) Great Britain (136.5), France (170.2), Germany (181.9)
(Individual Zara Phillips (GBR) 38.0, William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 44.3 Ingrid Klimke (GER) 45.2