LuLu Moore of Ridgefield, CT helps unload the Manhattan Saddlery donation upon arrival at The Rider’s Closet. Photo by Christine Fitzgerald/Pegasus.
New York City’s Only Tack Shop Celebrates Its Renaissance with Charitable Contribution
New York, N.Y. – May 20, 2014 – To celebrate more than a century of success as New York City’s go-to source for equestrian clothing and equipment, Manhattan Saddlery has donated $25,000 in goods to The Rider’s Closet, a charitable program founded by world-class equestrian Georgina Bloomberg. Bloomberg’s goal is to make riding clothes more accessible to therapeutic riding programs, pony clubs, scholastic teams and individual riders in need.
Manhattan Saddlery’s donation, comprised of hundreds of pieces of never-used riding apparel like tall boots, paddock boots, breeches and other equestrian wear, was delivered last week to the charity’s headquarters at Pegasus Therapeutic Riding in Brewster, N.Y. Managed by a Pegasus employee and staffed by volunteers, The Rider’s Closet accepts new or gently used equestrian clothing donations and sends the items out to hundreds of deserving riders throughout the U.S. each year.
The mission of The Rider’s Closet resonated with Manhattan Saddlery’s owner, Nick Tsang. “We’ve been fortunate to serve equestrians who live in and visit New York for more than a hundred years, and we wanted to give back to the horse community in a way that was truly meaningful,” he says. “The Rider’s Closet was the perfect partner for us to support riders who are dedicated to their chosen sport and want to be safe and look polished, but perhaps need a little help with outfitting along the way.”
Bloomberg adds, “A donation of this size and quality will make an immediate difference in the lives of hundreds of dedicated equestrians. These boots, breeches, half chaps and other items will be on their way to riders around the country within days. We are thrilled to have the support of Manhattan Saddlery, a true New York City icon, as we fulfill our mission.”
Manhattan Saddlery traces its history back to 1912, when it opened on 24th Street as Miller Harness Company, a saddlery and equine supply business. Miller’s catered to elite clients like the Olympic team and the Kennedy and Rockefeller families, as well as everyday equestrians, through its popular mail order catalog for almost 80 years until its brands and store transferred ownership in the early 1990s.
In 2002, June Tsang, a passionate equestrian and loyal Miller’s customer, and her family took up the reins and legacy of the physical store as Manhattan Saddlery. Her son, Nick, who runs the shop today, has remained deeply committed to upholding and exceeding the standards of excellence set by Miller’s. “The area near 24th and Lexington has always been the ‘equicenter’ of the city and we intend to keep it that way,” he says.
To that end, Tsang has recently renovated the space Manhattan Saddlery occupies with detailed attention to its rich history, exposing original columns and ductwork, highlighting antique lighting, bringing wood floors back to life and adding a new counter made from a reclaimed barn door. He has also tuned the store’s inventory to reflect the needs and sensibilities of modern equestrian shoppers, bringing in brands like Pikeur, Barbour, Ariat, Kerritts, Oughton Ltd. and ASMAR Equestrian – while still offering a robust selection of New York classics like Vogel and Tailored Sportsman.