Flavia Callari and Alison Potter share many of the same passions. They’re passionate about riding horses. Passionate about the success of the Ox Ridge Hunt Club, where they are both business managers and members. And passionate about First County Bank. “The Bank didn’t just help us,they saved us,” the women agreed.
The Ox Ridge Hunt Club, located in Darien, will soon be celebrating its 100th anniversary. It has a longstanding history in the equestrian world, including the famed summer circuit. Alison explained that every riding club in the Northeast was getting a facelift and Ox Ridge needed one, too. “We had to evolve or we would dissolve,” she said. Anyone who brings a horse here should be confident that the field and accommodations are top-notch, she added.
They turned to their former bank for additional funding, but were turned down for a loan. Honestly, they didn’t know what to do. That’s when First County Bank rode in and saved the day. In fact, it’s not the first time the Bank partnered with Ox Ridge.In the past, First County Bank had been a sponsor of the Ox Ridge Horse Show. “The Bank is part of the community and Ox Ridge is part of the community,” said Rick Zaremski, Senior Vice President of Business Banking at First County Bank, “it really was an easy decision to get on board.”
“What started as a simple sponsorship turned into something more. Much more,” said Flavia. She recalled that First County Bank did a thorough review of the property, walked along all 40 acres, and poured through the numbers. “First County Bank helped us refinance, eliminate old debt and make sure we’d be here for another 100 years.”Alison was immediately struck by the familiar feeling of First County Bank and its people. “They make us feel very much like family, very connected.” So much so, that Alison has now moved her personal accounts to the Bank and has urged other club members to do so.
The multi-million dollar loan will help Ox Ridge upgrade its horse stalls, create a new outdoor riding ring, and ensure that the thousands of people who visit each year will have a wonderful experience. “We want to do what’s best for the horses, the children and our community,” said Flavia, “and First County Bank has allowed us to continue doing that.” A bank that truly cares about its customers and their business. Now that’s a horse of a different color.