Laura Persons, Head Trainer, Owner
Laura began riding at age 5 and her passion for horses has only increased since. She started showing on the national “A” circuit when she was 7, and she has since competed in and won at many of the premier horse shows in North America, including Indio, Ocala, Spruce Meadows, Culpepper, the Olympic Park in Atlanta, and the Kentucky Horse Park. She has worked with several top trainers in Texas including Janet Christie, Tony Font, Christian Rogge and Peter Pletcher. Laura has also ridden in clinics with some of the nation’s top trainers, including Michael Endicott, Anne Kursinski Nona Garson, Bernie Traurig and Liz Denny.
Laura attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, majoring in Economics. Since graduating in December 2006, Laura has been riding and training in Texas.
As the head trainer and owner of Serendipity Farms Austin, Laura runs the hunter jumper training program at Oakhaven Farms.
Laura enjoys young horses and working with the Oakhaven breeding operation, starting their youngsters undersaddle and taking them all the way into the show arena.
Janet Christie, Trainer
No one in Texas has the wealth of equestrian experience of Janet Christie. She has trained, ridden and coached winners in all divisions. Her students have gone to USEF Pony Finals, NAYRC, Prix de States, and equitation finals. She has trained horses from hunters to Grand Prix. She is an “R” in hunter, hunter seat equitation and jumper divisions, and both a hunter and jumper course designer. She has served on the Texas Hunter and Jumper Association board for over 40 years, the Zone 7 committee, many horse show boards, and is the present Zone 7 NAYRC coordinator. Janet’s riding history includes being Jumper Champion of Texas for 10 years in a row, leading to training with Bert DeNemethy and the American team. Her approach is personal, to help each person and horse to reach their goals with confidence and safety. Janet’s education includes a BA in Bacteriology from The University of Texas at Austin, working in the Department of Genetics at MD Anderson Hospital. She is the mother of four and grandmother of five. When she is not with her family or clients, she enjoys photography and fly fishing.
Click to View a Video of Janet Christie
Clare Christie, Instructor
Born into the horse training tradition, Clare began her lifelong relationship with sport horses at a very young age. She competed successfully on the hunter/jumper circuit around the U.S. and in New Zealand. She was the captain of the equestrian team at The University of the South in Sewanee, TN, where she graduated Cum Laude. She works with young riders and has spent years on the horse show circuit with her students. She now teaches lessons both during the week and on weekends. When not riding and training horses, Clare can be found working in her art studio located on her family’s stables where she produces equine paintings and bronze sculpture. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Kyle, and their daughter, Lauren.
Guenvere Holden, Assistant Trainer
Growing up in southern California, Guenevere Holden’s passion for horses started at a very young age, riding and caring for polo ponies at her family’s Santa Barbara ranch. At the age of 6, Guen started formal lessons at Foxfield Riding Academy and as a young teen, moved to Elvenstar Show Stables under the guidance of top trainer Jim Hagman. She had a successful show career on the southern California regional circuit, and also competed on the Interscholastic Equestrian League at her high school and IHSA in college. Over the course of her career she has ridden and attended clinics with top trainers including, Nona Garson, Karen Healy, George Morris, Victor Hugo-Vidal, and Diane Carney.
After taking several years off to pursue a career in the corporate world, she returned to her true passion of horses to join the team at Serendipity Farms. Guen believes a solid foundation in riding basics, and the importance of good horsemanship develops a well-rounded rider.
Patricia Wilson Jellerson, Guest Instructor
Patricia Wilson Jellerson has been a Hunter/Jumper trainer and rider on the “A” circuit for over 25 years. After riding and learning the business with hunter trainer Ron Danta, she went on to work as a trainer and manager for Olympic rider Nona Garson. In her years with Nona, Patricia took both adults and young riders to hunter, equitation and jumper prizes at all the major East Coast shows. In addition, Patricia is a USEF licensed judge, successfully judging horse shows across the United States for the last 15 years.
Patricia’s eye for detail and judging experience can “put the polish” on riders and horses of all levels. She enjoys helping riders achieve the competitive edge in both the Hunter and Jumper divisions, and works to improve technique and style. A strong foundation of flatwork is the key to success in jumping, and Patricia emphasizes proper equitation and dressage skills to build both horse and rider.
She is in demand as a judge, trainer and clinician.