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Last privately owned horse ranch in town up for sale

Alexander Jacobson, owner of The New York Equestrian

Alexander Jacobson, owner of The New York Equestrian Center, stands with a pony, Little Black Dress, at the West Hempstead center on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The New York Equestrian Center in West Hempstead, believed to be the last privately owned horse ranch in the Town of Hempstead, is up for sale.

Owner Alexander Jacobson is seeking $20 million for the center and business, including its trademarked logo and an indoor riding facility with 63 stalls, a rehabilitation center and permitted access to Hempstead Lake State Park and its horse trails in West Hempstead, as well as about 40 horses, four homes adjoining the facility and a 25-acre farm in upstate Afton. He is only considering buyers who would continue the equestrian business.

“I’m ready to pass the torch to an equestrian institution who can take it to the next level,” Jacobson, 40, of Baldwin Harbor said. “It’s all being offered for sale as one package.”

Jacobson, a real estate developer who said he is “not a passionate horse person,” bought the property in 2006 with plans to raze the “rat-infested” and “dilapidated” Lakewood Stables that dated back to 1924 and turn the Eagle Avenue land, which is right off the Southern State Parkway and is surrounded by homes, into condos.

Instead he revamped the property and made it an indoor, year-round enterprise, despite facing foreclosure in 2011.

“I did this for the community,” Jacobson said. “I did this for the horses and I did this for the passion of the horse people on Long Island. They needed this to stay . . . It was too valuable as far as history was concerned.”

He is selling the business for “personal and family reasons” and plans to continue in real estate development. He also owns the New York Beach Club in Atlantic Beach, which he purchased about 17 months ago.

Jacobson put the equestrian center on the market in August with the hope of finding a buyer among the horse enthusiasts who attend the Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton, which ends on Sunday, and the Central Park Horse Show later in September.

Jacobson said the “ideal buyers” would be colleges, veterinary practices or municipal governments that would keep the center for public and private use.

“There’s enough need for it here on Long Island,” he said. “Somebody with the passion and the wherewithal is what I’m looking for.”

He said the center’s lessons, which include a therapeutic riding program for children with special needs, have inspired young riders to make their hobbies into careers.

“This has encouraged so, so many people over the last decade to go into the industry,” he said.

Rosalie Norton, president of the West Hempstead Community Support Association, said she hopes the equestrian center’s new owner would “add to it and enhance it” after Jacobson’s work.

“He really took a rundown property and turned it into an excellent facility,” she said. “It’s provided a unique sporting opportunity.”

Lisa Quinn, president of the Nassau-Suffolk Horsemen’s Association, said because the New York Equestrian Center is the only such facility in Hempstead Town, it’s an important place for people who both take lessons and board horses there.

“This is definitely not something you’d want to see go away,” she said. “It will be sorely missed if that’s taken out of the community.”

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