THE Clark family say they are looking forward to spending time with their horses after selling their successful equestrian business to the UK’s largest pet shop chain.
Their company, Ride-Away, was founded in 1980 and developed a loyal customer base through mail order catalogue, website and 15,000 sq ft store in York. It generated sales of £6.7m last year.
Pets at Home, owned by US private equity giant KKR, bought the business for an undisclosed sum this week.
Nick Wood, chief executive of Pets at Home, praised the husband and wife team Stephen and Angela Clark for developing a “significant multi-channel operation”.
Mrs Clark told the Yorkshire Post: “We will stay on for six months, Stephen, myself and daughter Helen, to help a smooth hand-over.
“Then we shall enjoy spending time with our horses, family and taking some time out after many years of intense time involved in the business.
“We are looking forward to seeing the progress of the business in the capable hands of Pets at Home. Nothing more exciting than that, I’m afraid.”
The family is steeped in the equine industry. Eldest daughter Ruth Carr is a racehorse trainer from Stillington and son Richard Clark is a farrier.
The business started as a sideline for Mrs Clark selling hoof oil and saddle soap alongside her husband’s work as a farrier.
“Somehow over the years it grew into something a bit bigger than was anticipated,” said Mrs Clark.