Horse Symphony – Santi Serra talks about his deep rooted love and connection with his animal family
Words: Hilary Crane
Photography: Oscar Munar
August 28, 2015
Every once in a while, come along a person whose passion and love for what they do is enough to take your breath away. One such person is Santi Serra, who has taken his natural raw passion and deep connection with his horses and other animals to another level, becoming a globally renowned performer, travelling the world with his Sercam Shows.
On a recent visit to Ibiza, he put on a mesmerising display for the Alegria Natural Horse Academy equestrian centre at Noah’s Garden, a fluid and seamless performance incorporating his horses and dogs, which was truly a joy to behold. Santi explains that he feels a strong connection with Ibiza, and that being on the island makes him alive, He holds a long term dream to perform in the sand at one of the islands beaches, for him, this would be a magical experience. Born and raised in Barcelona, his main business and home is in the city, but he has travelled the world with his performances, as far and wide as Hong Kong and the USA, where audiences are entranced by the unique display of showmanship and his obvious love and deep rooted connection with his animals.
He tells us that, being born into a family of horse lovers, horsemanship is truly in his blood. The horses, he says, know that his heart is full of love and respect for them, which is why the connection runs so deeply. He works closely with his brother and business partner John, and the title of Sercam Shows is a combination of their family names. Santi was riding horses before he could even walk, and over the years, developed his natural riding skills, becoming a professional rodeo rider at the tender age of 14. Whilst Santi is the visible face of Sercam shows, it is very much a family business and he and his brother are a closely knit team.
Horses are not the only love of his life, indeed, his extended animal family includes dogs, llamas and even a zebra. He says that they are all great friends, enjoying an atmosphere of peace, respect and harmony, although, he laughs, this leaves him little time for any other relationships! The horses though are the main attraction of his shows, and Santi works with horses of all breeds and types, although currently his main companions at the shows are predominantly Arabs, Frisians and Lusitanos. He says that he knows instantly when a horse is the right one to join his family, a natural instinct tells him when a horse has the special character that he needs.
Kindness, patience and trust is the key to building the relationship with these spirited creatures, his ultimate aim is for the horse to feel comfortable when they are performing, keeping their own strong spirit and nature, and above all to ensure that the horse is happy and nurtured on every level. He also often works with horses who have suffered past trauma, either through mistreatment or bad experiences with hard riders. Again, using endless amounts of patience and spending hour after hour building a connection, he helps the horse to regain its confidence and trust in humans once more.
And so, what does 2015 hold for Sercam Shows and Santi Serra? “Ufff”.. he laughs, “The summer ahead is so busy, with not even one week where I am not travelling”. However, this is where is heart lies, and he is truly passionate and excited about each and every one of his upcoming performances. We hope to see more of Santi and Sercam shows here on the island in the very near future.