British Showjumping could be £100,000 out of pocket and British Eventing and British Dressage each £25,000, after Horse & Country TV (HCTV) decided to go into administration.
Each of the disciplines invested in the TV station when it set up in 2006 (news, 20 April 2006) and now that the company has gone bust they could lose their shares.
A letter sent from HCTV to shareholders on Friday (15 October) says: “Since 2009 the company has been largely funded by Hemisphere Capital, which… is owed approximately £400,000 plus accrued interest. Hemisphere has called for its immediate repayment.”
It says the company cannot pay this money to Hemisphere — which is owned by HCTV chief executive Heather Killen — and so would be put into administration.
A spokesman for the TV station told H&H: “The company is being restructured but will continue to run uninterrupted and our TV channel will continue to broadcast.”
When asked whether the disciplines would recoup their losses, she added: “None of the sports will be out of pocket but may have to renegotiate with the channel.”
She said a new company would be created to take over the key elements of the business of the old Horse & Country TV Ltd, which will be placed into administration.
“Our staff and commercial partners will also be unaffected by this move and the new company will be talking to shareholders of the old company (including British Eventing, British Dressage and British Showjumping) about their participation going forward,” said the spokesman.
British Eventing wrote off its £25,000 share in HCTV in 2007. Finance director Wendy McGowan said: “The directors at the time took the view that it was not a profitable investment and it has had no value in our books since.”
Neither British Dressage nor British Showjumping returned H&H’s calls.
But Andrew Finding, chief executive of the British Equestrian Federation, said: “The loss of Horse & Country is sad. We hope progress can be made to keep the channel going.”
HCTV lost £1.3m in the year to April 2009 (news, 28 January). More recent accounts are not available.
It was proposed that HCTV should go into administration on Friday, 15 October.
The TV station was to be taken to industrial tribunal by its former director Nick Ludlow on 18 October, but the case has been put on hold due to the administration.
Mr Ludlow, who set up HCTV, claims wrongful dismissal (news, 28 January).