Page 50 - The Hunt - Summer 2022
P. 50

Worn Again
Old riding gear gets a new lease on life at consignment shops.
In the almost 500 years since a group of Englishmen in Norfolk started riding to the hounds, there have been few technological advances in the sport. While the breeds may have been refined, horses still jump fences, hounds still give chase in full voice, foxes are still sly, and riders in
the hunt still saddle up and don red. In that classic environment, vintage gear and tack is a booming business—especially across the Mid-Atlantic states, where fox hunting and competitive riding are so popular.
Most items would qualify as antique, but many could easily be classified as vintage.
“We sell 40 to 50 English tweed coats a year on consignment (especially those of Melton wool) and about 350 saddles annually,” says Kerry Foster, who works at Maryland Saddlery, which has three locations, including a store
in Hockessin.
And merchandise goes quickly. “In essence, we have a new store every 90 days,” Foster says.
Middleburg Tack Exchange’s Norma Thompson points out that selling riding tack and associated gear on consignment is nothing new. “We’ve been around since Jo Motion founded us in 1992,” she says of the Virginia shop. “We have used custom saddles that cost around $7,000 new, and we can broker them at half the price.”
Younger people readily flock to recycled gear. “It’s become a form of ‘green,’” Thompson
says. “And it certainly is helpful for folks on a limited budget.”
Foster agrees. “This generation has figured out that reusing then reselling by consignment is one way to keep from destroying the planet,” she says.
Clothing and saddles are the largest draws in the resale business, and some can be quite old. “When spring comes, we sell tons of show clothes,” Foster says. “Kids use them, keep them in shape, then bring them back.”
By RogeR MoRRis | Photo By JiM gRahaM
 48 THE HUNT MAGAZINE summer 2022

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