Conchie Saddlery Begins Winding-Down Process

The owner of an Angus shop said he is broken-hearted as he announced plans to close the business after almost 40 years.

David Conchie has been running Angus-based Conchie Saddlery since 1984.

The equestrian shop in Barry is located beside the Rowanlea Riding School and was founded by David’s father in the 1960s.

It boasts more than 200 saddles in stock as well as clothing, riding hats and other accessories.

David, 60, said the shop continues to be a successful operation, but he felt the time was right to wind it up.  He said: “I’m not as fit as I used to be and it’s a really busy shop.

“It’s seven days a week.  That’s a lot of work, and I’m now struggling to keep up with it.

“The shop is not going to close just like that.  We have a massive amount of stock and I don’t think it will be possible to sell it all within a year.

“My working day is 8am t0 9pm at night and we’re seven days a week.

“You can take a day off but then there’s just more work to do the next day.

“When I’m feeling good I’d love to keep the shop but then you get back to reality.  The sensible thing is to start to wind it down over time.”

David’s father encouraged him into business and initially the shop sold brushes and tack.

It developed over the decades to have one of the widest range of equestrian equipment in Scotland.

It also has an online operation and the number of customers is increasing.

David believes the exceptional customer service has been the reason for its success.

He said: “I don’t tolerate customers not being looked after properly.  If something goes wrong we put it right.

“Over almost 40 years that word has spread.

“People travel throughout Scotland to come to the shop.

“With saddles I say bring your horse and I’ll find the right one.

“You have to see the horse and make sure that it fits.

“As well as loyal customers I’ve been lucky with very loyal staff who have around 25 and 34 years of service.

“I’ve told them of my plans but also made it clear that the business will not close quickly.

“We have a power of stock and I wouldn’t let my staff down either.”

Rowanlea Riding School, run by David’s sister Irene, will continue to operate.

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