LOYAL workers at a Sheffield horseriding shop are saddling up and galloping off into the sunset for the last time - as the store closes after 30 years.
Horse and Rider, on Northfield Road in Crookes, supplies all manner of equestrian goods from stirrups and collars to riding hats and jodhpurs.
But the economic downturn and changing shopping habits mean the shop will be shutting for good at 5.30pm tomorrow.
Wendy Lynch, Horse and Rider’s mail order manager, said she thought the closure was ‘very sad’ - and that customers would miss buying their supplies from expert staff.
The firm was set up by pharmacist Philip Adams in 1982, after he found success selling worming medication for horses at his old chemist’s shop in Crookes.
“He would sell small pieces for horses from his shop and then decided to open Horse and Rider,” Wendy said.
“It’s been very popular. We stock a really wide range of goods, and we’ve always had staff that are knowledgeable and helpful.
“They would always give people advice and help people get what they needed.”
One of the shop’s most novel features was its life-sized model horse, Elvis - who will be finding a new home at a riding school in Rotherham.
Wendy said Horse and Rider’s closure was ‘a sign of the times’.
“I think it’s just part of the general recession. People haven’t got as much money to spend, and they’re not spending as much on their animals,” she said.
“People are also changing the way they shop, they want to shop online, and the overheads and costs of running the shop are too much.
“I think it’s very sad. People enjoy coming here, they have done for many years.
“It’s different buying in a shop, you can see what you’re buying, and can meet people that share a common interest with you.”
Wendy said regular customers have been visiting for the last few days to bid the shop farewell, adding: “They’re all coming in to say goodbye.”
Eight people work at Horse and Rider, but just one staff member is being kept on to deal with the mail order business, which will continue to trade at www.horseandrider.co.uk or by calling 0114 266 6001.