football on twitter
Please wait while we load football on twitter...
British equestrian chiefs will know next month whether they will host the 2015 FEI European Eventing Championships in Scotland.
The British bid is up against challenges from Germany, Poland, Holland and Belgium.
Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, was part of a five-strong team headed by British Equestrian Federation chief executive Andrew Finding that recently travelled to International Equestrian Federation headquarters in Lausanne.
If the bid succeeds, then Blair Castle, which is situated around 30 miles north of Perth, would be the venue.
It stages an international horse trials every August, running over four days and attracting in excess of 40,000 visitors. Many of the world's top event riders are regular competitors.
"The support of Hugh Robertson and EventScotland has been instrumental in driving our bid to host these championships," Finding said.
"It was a privilege to lead such a highly professional bid team, and I know that the backing we have enjoyed here, combined with the level of professionalism and care that goes into our eventing community, will ensure this translates into a wonderful championships.
"We sincerely hope that the Bureau of the FEI will award us the opportunity, and our fingers are firmly crossed."
Alec Lochore, event director of the Blair Castle International Horse Trials, added: "Blair has been awarded the opportunity to host the young rider eventing championships twice in the last five years.
"To bring the very best competitors in the world to our doorstep and host senior championships would bring a new realm of prestige. A senior equestrian championship has never been held in Scotland before.
"Our aim is to work with the FEI to put on a truly memorable event at Blair in 2015.
"We believe this would continue the legacy of (London) 2012 and inspire a new generation of riders. It is a tremendously exciting prospect."
The European Eventing Championships have been staged in Britain on several previous occasions, notably six times at Burghley in Lincolnshire.
It was last held in this country seven years ago at Blenheim in Oxfordshire, and Britain has an outstanding record in the event, winning team gold on eight of the last nine occasions, while former individual European champions include Zara Phillips, Tina Cook and Pippa Funnell.