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Huntington Town recreation programs restore horseback riding

Horseback riding has returned to the stable of offerings from the Town of Huntington Parks and Recreation Department.

The town board last month approved authorizing Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci to enter into an agreement with Melville-based Thomas School of Horsemanship to offer the service to residents.

The town previously had a longtime and successful program with Sweet Hills Riding Center in West Hills County Park, officials said. But when the county ended its lease with Sweet Hills in September 2016 amid an illegal dumping investigation, the town also ended its contract with the riding center, town officials said.

Thomas was the winner of a request for proposal to provide horseback riding lessons.

The agreement is for three years with the option for two additional three-year periods under the same prices, terms and conditions, according to town documents. The town will receive 20 percent of the total revenue generated by the program. Costs of the lessons has yet to be determined, town officials said.

Town spokeswoman Lauren Lembo said program details were not yet available.

Town board member Mark Cuthbertson, who co-sponsored of the resolution authorizing the program with Lupinacci, said town officials are pleased that the popular riding lessons are returning. They should be in place by the fall, he said.

“We’re pleased to welcome Thomas School of Horsemanship as the new facility for this activity,” Cuthbertson said. “They have an excellent reputation and extensive experience and knowledge in this area.”

The board approved the measure at the March 20 town board meeting by a vote of 4 to 1 with board member Edmund Smyth recusing himself because the Thomas School of Horsemanship is a client of his law firm.

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