Equivouchers, the voucher scheme described at its launch as the “new currency of the equestrian world”, has hit financial trouble.
More than 70 creditors heard the news last week in a letter from the business recovery group at accountant Numerica. The group also placed advertisements in regional newspapers nationwide, that it has been appointed as potential liquidator of the Wiltshire-based business.
At the time of going to press the extent of the liability of the firm was not available. Nor was it clear how many vouchers — which were available to the public in denominations of £5, £10 and £20 — have been sold to saddlery and tack shops or over the counter to customers.
However, Charles Lousada, the firm’s director and a polo player at Kirtlington Park, says holders of the vouchers will still be able to use them.
He told Horse & Hound: “Ownership of Equivouchers Limited, which went into liquidation, has passed to another company called Equivouchers Promotions Limited, which will run the scheme. Trading has been absolutely unaffected and will continue to be.”
The scheme was given a fanfare launch at the 2004 Horse of the Year Show, and was advertised heavily in monthly equestrian magazines. In the run-up to Christmas, Equivouchers held a major promotion at the British Equine Event.
The vouchers were devised to work in the same way as book tokens. Retailers would buy them at a cost of just 5% of their face value, a minimum of one book of £100-worth.
At the launch of the scheme to the equestrian trade, Lousada told retailers: “I have developed a concept that gives equestrian retailers maximum profit potential but keeps the cost of entering the scheme very low. Also, there’s no financial risk. ”