End of an era for saddler

As documented in the Daily Adverstiser (Nov. 16, 2011)
By Ben Glover: http://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/story/744937/end-of-an-era-for-saddler/

ONE of Wagga’s most iconic family businesses is set to close its doors for the last time, after more than 100 years of trading, at the end of this month.

Hiscocks Saddlery was established by Bob Hiscock in 1904 and has been serving the horse people of southern NSW ever since.

But with third-generation owner Garry Hiscock winding down towards retirement and his four children pursuing different careers, the 67-year-old has been forced to come up with a different kind of succession plan.

“It’s been a bit traumatic, this, I took a while to come to terms with it,” said Mr Hiscock, who’s been running the business since he was a teenager.

“My sister in particular was mortified that we were at the end of an era and the whole family had a lot of discussion about it.

“But in the end it just clicked with me and I said we’ve had our time, we’ve been successful, now it’s time to pull up stumps.”

But Mr Hiscock’s broad and loyal customer base won’t be left out in the cold.

Since deciding he wanted to retire, the saddler has been on the hunt for someone with a passion for the industry to take it over.

While it will no longer be Hiscocks – the business will now trade under the Riverina Saddlery name – the man taking over, 31-year-old Mat Murray, is determined to maintain its level of success.

Mr Murray moved to Wagga from Proserpine in North Queensland to be with his then girlfriend and now fiancée Lyn Lockwood, a teacher at Wagga High School. With an already established customer base in the business, Mr Murray saw an opportunity to expand by taking over from Mr Hiscock and hopes Riverina Saddlery will be as well respected as Hiscocks for years to come. “In my lifetime, this is what I want to do,” Mr Murray said.

The handover will be complete on the weekend of November 26-27, with a closing down sale combining with a grand opening.