Scope Festival of showjumping has lost thousands

  • Scope made losses of more than £30,000 last year and of £20,000 the year before, according to its accounts, but a spokesman for the series has described it as “thriving” and “viable”.

    Spokesman Debra Hargrave told H&H: “The Cushionbed British Showjumping (BS)/Scope UK Festival has run successfully for 14 years and continues to thrive.

    “The show is viable and will definitely go ahead next year. This year we welcomed new title sponsor, Cushionbed, which has signed up for five years.”

    The championships are run, under an agreement with BS, by Scope UK Open Showjumping Championships Ltd.

    This year’s festival (29 August-4 September) had 100 classes with over £95,000 in prize-money and 24 national championships.

    But, despite this success, accounts recently obtained by H&H show the company’s total assets as of 28 February 2009 to be £33,379 in the red.

    A loss of £22,614 was made in 2008 and a mortgage for £25,000 was taken in July 2009.

    According to the accounts lodged with Companies House, director James Philip Maguire has agreed to support the company financially.

    Mr Maguire stated: “During the financial year, the company found trading extremely difficult. This has resulted in the company reporting losses.”

    BS Oxfordshire area rep Chris Parker tackled BS chairman and company secretary of Scope UK, Michael Mac, about the losses at the BS AGM on 14 August.

    Mr Parker told H&H: “Area reps are concerned that there is a mortgage outstanding on our national championships. If the bank decides to call that in what would happen to Scope?”

    And another BS member, who did not want to be named, said he was amazed that a show as apparently successful as Scope should make losses. He said members should have been told about the financial insecurity.

    Mr Mac did not wish to speak to H&H, referring us to Ms Hargrave, who declined to discuss financial issues.

    BS chief executive Iain Graham said BS is “confident Scope will be in the calendar for 2011 and beyond”.

    This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (9 September, 2010)

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