The failed company voluntary arrangement for Britain’s longest running equestrian business has caused the company to enter into administration.

Barnsby Saddlery, one of the UK’s longstanding equestrian companies, has officially stopped trading and gone into administration, bringing to a close a 200 year run on top of the saddle making industry.

The news was finalised today, with the limited company announcing that they have formally ceased trading and made their final 26 employees redundant, following the failure of their company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

The business; one of Britain’s most decorated saddle makers and more commonly renowned for its Barnsby brand, has been suffering from financial difficulties for a number of months now after an extended period of harsh market conditions.

The Walsall-based organisation which traded under the name Jabez Cliff Limited- begun experiencing financial problems during the latter stages of last year and attributed their difficulties to cash-flow issues and unpaid debts.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the company’s directors identified their intention to restructure the limited company in order to alleviate their financial difficulties, and soon after announced that they had made seven members of staff redundant and secured an agreement with all the business’ creditors to secure a company voluntary arrangement.

It was hoped that this company debt solution; which allows businesses to repay all their unsecured creditor debts over a fixed and extended term up to five years and reduce their monthly repayments into a single affordable sum- would help Barnsby get back on track; though the announcement that the limited company will now enter into administration has officially confirmed its failure with this endeavour.

Andy McGill, partner in the Birmingham branch of Smith & Williamson, the accountancy and investment management organisation, has been assigned the role of administrator for the long-established business.

Mr McGill identified that those involved with the limited company had “worked very hard” in the past half-year to ‘turn the business around’, but had fallen short of achieving their aim of bolstering their profits by making more international sales.

McGill said: “The directors have worked very hard during the last six months to try and turn the business around. It had been hoped that it might be possible to boost international sales but unfortunately market conditions have proved too tough and opportunities have not matched their expectations.

After the company had been rendered incapable of trading anymore, McGill said that the directors had no choice but to sack the last 26 members of staff and put the business into company administration.

McGill added: “It is always extremely sad to see a heritage brand such as Barnsby endure such difficulties. I hope that the strength and reputation of the brand will generate interest to ensure that the Barnsby name continues as an important part of the equestrian market.”

He continued: “We are working to sell the assets of the business, including the respected Barnsby brand, in order to maximise the realisation for creditors including employees.”

The entirety of the saddles constructed by the business- which possessed a Royal Warrant as a provider to the Queen- were made by hand. The company has been utilised by a number of prominent parties in the equestrian world including; The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, The Household Cavalry a number of senior equestrian riders.

And despite the business previously pledging to H&H that it would carry on providing support to its riders back in January, it has now been announced that all the company’s deals have been terminated as part of the administration procedure.
Smith & Williamson are now believed to be trying to sell the company’s remaining assets in order to recollect as much money as possible to pay its creditors.

Mr McGill said that he was optimistic that the “strength and reputation” of the business would enable Barnsby to carry on being involved in the equestrian industry in some form, though he conceded that this would likely be in an altogether different capacity to the one they have enjoyed in the past two centuries.