Following the recent retirement of the Country Riding Shop's longtime owner, the president of the nonprofit Old Field Farm Ltd., Sally Lynch, said she launched a new venture that she hopes will soon be able to benefit the farm.
It was a relationship born out of a previous arrangement made in recent years in which the farm – which is a seasonal operation – was able to sell some of its merchandise at the shop year-round.
"We did not want to see our local shop disappear," Lynch said. "The riding shop will still be there to meet the needs of our riding community but will also be able to offer some general gifts and clothing that they might be looking for."
Once the business demonstrates its viability, Lynch said a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Old Field Farm. The shop, still located at the corner of Route 25A and Bennetts Road, will continue to offer selected goods on consignment. She said it's been an exciting yet challenging project so far.
"While it’s difficult to open up a new retail entity, particularly in the face of some large providers coming to the island, we feel that our orientation is differentiated enough that over time – and once we get our sea legs – we will be able to have some unusual offerings," Lynch said.
Although it's not "overt," she said, the equestrian culture is still thriving on Long Island.
"It is still there, and we keep finding more" riders, she said. "Old Field Farm, as a charity, gets a lot of calls from people seeking places to start riding to see if they’re interested."
Lynch said the shop has gotten good feedback so far.
"People are very glad that a riding shop will
continue on that corner," she said, "and we hope to honor the reputation that the shop had
for fair value and bringing you what you need with good service."