Sadness as long-serving horse riding business announces closure
- Credit: Keswick Riding Stables/Kevin Rye
Horse lovers are sad to see the loss of a well established, family-run riding school after decades of service near the city.
Keswick Riding Stables is closing down in mid-July as the owner Christine Hewitt is retiring at the age of 78 after more than 20 years of work.
The riding school has been welcoming horse fanatics of all ages and experience to its country base in those two decades.
Ms Hewitt, who took the business on from her father, said: "We are closing down because I am getting too old to run it anymore. I want to retire and my horses are getting old like me. We are retiring together.
"We have been here for many years and I have enjoyed it. But it's hard work and there are too many regulations. I can't keep up with it.
"I am not going to be selling my horses."
Some riders fear they will not be able to find another stable nearby which is as convenient as the Bridle Lane base in NR4.
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Kevin Rye, 55, who has worked at Keswick Riding Stables for 37 years, said: "The owner has decided her health is deteriorating and has decided she does not want to carry on.
"There are currently 17 horses in total at the site.
"In the winter time there is hay in the field and they have fodder beet as well as all the other costs.
"I have been trying to do a lot of work on my own. We have people who help but we have limited staff."
Covid had an impact on the business with a crowdfunding page set up in June 2020 after the stables had to close to the public.
An unnamed 72-year-old rider who is a long-standing customer at Keswick Riding Stables said: "It's like a family and there are a range of beautiful horses there.
"It has been a part of my weekly routine and there is a big WhatsApp group with all the riders in.
"It is such a pity. I will not stop riding but it will never be the same again."