After 11 amazing years, Hampshire Farms Riding Center, Inc. has closed its doors. As the farm’s business owners, Laura Tuthill and Erica Steindl would like to thank the community for its support over the years. It has been a very rewarding experience to be a part of so many children’s lives and to share our love of horses with them, knowing that we have helped create little horsemen and horsewomen, not just little riders.
We know that our students will be pleased to hear that all of our horses have been placed in loving, forever homes and can live out their years in happiness. Some of our working horses and staff have moved just a short trip away to Sea Horse Stables in Water Mill with Hampshire Farms’ top trainer, Ron Esposito, who has been training riders at Hampshire Farms since 2015. Others have chosen to head to the North Fork and are boarding and riding at BJ Farms in Jamesport.
It is, without a doubt, a sad day when any local business closes; perhaps more so when it’s one that has been so important to so many of the Island’s youth. We are extremely proud of the skilled riders and capable horse handlers who have come through our programs and most importantly, what strong, fit, confident and responsible human beings they have become as a result of riding and caring for such magnificent animals. We are grateful to those parents who worked hard so that their children could become riders, and we are grateful to our riders for their commitment to such a demanding sport.
In a final lesson, these children witnessed how carefully we went about finding safe and caring homes for all the horses, keeping several of the older ones ourselves because it was simply the right thing to do. We are very happy that all the horses are being well cared for, with several being generously permitted by the new owners to enjoy their retirement on the farm where they have so long served the community.
So it may be true that no one knows what the future holds for the farm property, but we should all be thankful that Dr. Ryan, his family and the Ryan Farm LLC had the foresight to preserve the land from future development. And finally, we hope that everyone we have taught over the years in this beautiful place will keep horses in their hearts and in their lives.
Submitted by Laura Tuthill and Erica Steindl