By Dani Moritz-Long
Brittni Raflowitz was fortunate to grow up with America’s premier winter circuit practically in her backyard. Now 19 years old, Brittni is an accomplished professional who’s had the opportunity to learn from the best — including McLain Ward and the late Barney Ward. She now trains with Candice King and her dad, Brett Raflowitz, and is competing on four talented horses: Baloumina Du Ry, Punchy Dorcel, Hilton Van De Breepoel and Elios.
With continued hard work, Brittni is sure to continue to impress the crowds and rise in the ranks of U.S. show jumping. Sidelines was able to catch up with the incredible young rider and get the inside scoop on life in the shoes of Brittni Raflowitz.
Sidelines: What was it like growing up competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival?
Brittni Raflowitz: People have always come to WEF from all over the world. So to basically have it in my backyard per se is extremely relieving not just for myself but for my family as well. There’s no being home sick for three months [when we are in Wellington]. I mean, c’mon, how could you not love the Florida sunshine?
Sidelines: What has been your greatest challenge growing up as an equestrian?
BR: In this industry, you grow up really fast. It’s a mentally challenging sport. You need the right mind set and attitude.
Sidelines: What’s it like training with your dad?
BR: It’s definitely challenging at times. But in the end, nobody knows me or my mind set more than he does.
Sidelines: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
BR: Just focus on riding well and the results will come.
Sidelines: How do you feel you’ve grown as a rider in the past few years?
BR: I’ve grown a lot as a rider in the past couple of years. I went from being a very successful junior rider to having to turn professional at 18. Moving into the senior ranks, I’ve had to take my riding and my mind set to the next level. I know this is a growing and learning phase of my career, which in turn has proven to be difficult. Right now, I’m just focusing on riding well and hoping the results will follow.
Sidelines: What’s it like having your family own Equestrian Services International?
BR: It’s very different. You get to see a different side of the competition aspect with what goes into the horse shows and footing. This has also kept our family close together in the horse business.
Sidelines: If you could ride any horse in the world, what horse would you ride?
BR: Wow! That’s a hard question because there are so many amazing horses past and present and it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. In the past, maybe Ninja la Silla or Sapphire. For horses in the present, I think Gerco Schröder’s ride Glock’s London or McLain’s Rothschild.
Sidelines: What are your riding goals for this year? What are your long-term goals?
BR: I’d love to be able to get on the Young Rider Nations Cup team here at WEF, as well as possibly making a team to go to Europe this summer. I’m also excited to see how far my 8-year-old [Hilton Van De Breepoel] will go this year. Thinking long term, ultimately I’d love to be a championship rider. I feel like being able to represent your country is the highest honor.
Sidelines: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
BR: I want to send out a huge thank you to my sponsors, Equine Couture, Voltaire, and ESI and also Maarten Huygens and Darragh Kerins for providing me the opportunity to ride some special horses. But ultimately, I want to thank my family. Without them I’d never be anywhere near where I am today.