If the name sounds familiar, you’re correct.
However, make no mistake Grand Prix show jumping rider Christina Serio is trying to make a name for herself. She relocated to Aiken from Kennett Square, Pa., opening Serio Show Stables.
The horseman is the daughter of renowned show hunter rider Louise Serio, and has established her own identity in the Grand Prix ring, but acknowledges that her mother provided her with a firm foundation before she decided to become a professional.
“My mother always stressed honesty,” said Serio. “Honesty with your horses, honesty with yourself, and the others around you. She’s always been there for me, and been supportive of me in whatever I wanted to do. She’s stood by me 100 percent.”
It had always been a dream of Serio’s to compete in the Grand Prix show jumping ring, and she has embraced the challenges, making her way in an extremely competitive environment.
The cost of the sport is one of the many challenges a young professional faces, and the expenses associated with running a barn, competing, being able to purchase a horse at the upper levels, and the possibility of competing on a team and overseas can be staggering.
Serio’s mother has been an inspiration, overcoming those challenges and succeeding, in a competitive sport.
“My mother has always done such a great job, riding through tough horses and then getting to ride the best, like Castle Rock and Rock Star,” said Serio.
There is some depth in the horseman’s barn. Royal Lady is Serio’s Grand Prix horse. Serio has exhibited the mare at several Winter Equestrian Festivals in Wellington, Fla.
“I’ve brought her up the levels myself,” said Serio.
The 10-year-old mare has a number of outstanding attributes, but can be a challenge at times, said Serio.
“She’s wonderful, but she’s also difficult,” said Serio. “She’s a little bit cold to ride at times, a little spooky. a little suspicious of things. She gives it 100 percent. I think she has a lot of talent. I think she has the talent to take a junior/amateur to the upper levels. She’s a good sport and tries hard. She’s just a good horse in general.”
Royal Lady has demonstrated a lot of promise, and has made a strong impression by exhibiting that potential.
“I just keep practicing with her and doing certain things with her,” said Serio. “My mom came down to the ring, and I said to her, ‘You have to come watch this,’ and she was like ‘Wow!’
The professional’s mother surprised her daughter by purchasing the mare last summer.
Discoverio is another horse that bears watching, and he was purchased from the 2011 VDL Auction by Jennifer Burger, said Serio.
“She’s (Burger) a big supporter of my mom and I,” said Serio. “She’s just a wonderful person, and was very excited to be able to purchase a horse at auction. He’s awesome and has a lot of potential.”
The 5-year-old possesses a mindset that belies his age, and has an extremely confident demeanor, said Serio.
“He acts like a 10-year-old,” said Serio. “He’s like, ‘Whatever’ with everything. We want to move up, but he’s only 5-years-old. So, you have to wait. I think the hardest part is the waiting. He’s so grown up, and picks up on so many things.”
Clinton is a 4-year-old stallion, and he’s a horse that Serio is bringing along slowly, and has yet to exhibit in the show ring.
“I think he’s another one with a lot of potential,” said Serio. “I don’t know if he’s a hunter or jumper. It’s ok. I’m taking my time and letting him grow up. He’s a really good jumper.”
Serio also has Clinton’s half-sister, a filly by Hickstead, who’s currently in Pennsylvania.
Name Game does the 3-foot 3-inch pre-green hunters, and is a horse that Serio won the $25,000 Middleburg Classic on, but is also in Pennsylvania at this time.
“He has a lot of potential, is a little bit difficult and spooky, but that’s what makes him complex,” said Serio. “He’s a cool horse.”
Name Game is the perfect compliment for another horse Serio shows for Kendall Sharkey, a horse named 21-Gun Salute. The two horses are very competitive, with both horses taking turns at winning blue ribbon honors.
“It’s fun to have them so competitive,” said Serio. “They’re quite a good team.”
The horseman loves to show, and as a trainer is passionate about helping people reach their goals.