Duchess of Beaufort marks silver anniversary

The Duchess of Beaufort has unveiled a commemorative plaque, at the site where a mixture of 25 oak, beech, maple and lime trees have been planted to celebrate the 25 year partnership between Mitsubishi Motors and Badminton Horse Trials.

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, namely the Olympics.

Lance Bradley and Hugh Thomas with the Duchess of Beaufort

These days, 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.”

Speaking at the unveiling Lance Bradley, Mitsubishi Motors in the UK’s Managing Director, said: “To reach the milestone of 25 years in any partnership is a great achievement and 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. 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.”

Hugh Thomas, Director of Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, added: “A plantation of 25 young trees will 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.”

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