Draghounds sells shares in kennels to stay afloat

  • The Berks and Bucks Draghounds will fold if investors cannot be found to add £100,000 to its coffers.

    The kennels near Lambourn are owned by shareholders and the two largest — who together own more than 50% of the shares — want to sell up.

    A deadline of 1 May has been set to find buyers for the stake, otherwise the kennels will have to be sold.

    “The kennels have been valued at £500,000 and there are 100 shares — that’s £5,000 a share,” said shareholders’ trustee Diana Wethered.

    “We have sourced £400,000 from shareholders willing to leave their money ‘in’, new shareholders and a mortgage.

    “All we need now is the equivalent of 20 people to buy a share each.”

    Joint-master Penny Bunter said: “As well as offering a great day’s sport, the hunt plays a major role in the farming and equestrian community.

    “We have a flesh round, which is something many foxhunts have given up and, being near Lambourn, there are a lot of horses around here.”

    As well as helping to rescue the pack, shareholders will have benefits as regards hunting.

    The owner of three shares (£15,000) gets a free single annual subscription each year they retain their stake and five shares buys an annual family subscription on the same basis.

    Eventers, including Lucinda Green, Daisy Berkeley (née Dick) and Rodney Powell (a former master), have hunted with the Berks and Bucks, and former racehorse trainer Ian Balding is president and a shareholder.

    Mr Balding said: “It’s crucial we sell these shares. The Berks and Bucks is very well known and has been going for 28 years. The hounds are beautiful black and tans and they can really fly.”

    • Anyone interested in buying a share should email dianabwethered@aol.com.

    This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (15 April, 2010)

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