For the past 34 years, RIO owners Matt & Jeannie Mitchell have been in the hospitality industry as leaders in restaurants. Their hands on approach has allowed them to not only lead a team, but also be a part of the team. With the willingness to serve others in the trenches as well as teach a strong work ethic, the Mitchells have created their niche in the hospitality industry with a servant leadership approach. Starting as team members and working their way up the ladder, with the help of a very talented team, the Mitchells now own and operate 6 restaurants.
As fate would have it, in early 2015 the Mitchell’s became part owners of a 7 year old warmblood named Sczarge. During the first half of 2015, they attended several local shows to watch Sczarge compete in the hunter ring and then as summer arrived they traveled to watch him compete on a national level. As they traveled with Sczarge the realization that a need existed for a facility to bridge the gap between local and national shows became apparent. The question quickly arose, “What would happen if we built a 200 stall show facility and added a heavy dose of hospitality for riders, horses and spectators?” Lead by that Sczarge-initiated dream, the search for the perfect property began and has resulted in the creation of RIO Equestrian Center.
RIO SHOW FACILITATOR
Boo Gonzalez has spent her entire life in the equine industry. As a youth Boo showed in hunter jumper shows and went on to get her BS in Animal Science at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and a BS in Equestrian science from Stephens college. She participated on both the MU Rodeo Team, and the Stephens Combined training team as well as the MU swim team. After college she was fortunate enough to work at Wright way under Gordon Wright where she honed her teaching and riding skills. She then owned and operated a private hunter jumper facility near St. Louis, teaching, showing, training futurity prospects and hosting shows and events. She is the founder of MOHJO and a board member for MHSA which she has been a member of off and on for over 12 years in capacities of hunter jumper and combined training representative. She has been voted “trainer of the year” in both hunters and combined training.
She continues to support the equine community through clinics, judging and as an equine insurance agent while still riding, training and competing, and now sharing her love and commitment to the sport through RIO.
RIO CONCIERGES & STAFF
RIO hires its staff based on horse show experience, knowledge and the desire to offer an experience above and beyond any other.