Brittni Raflowitz and Safira Start Summer Series with $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix Win

Jun 20, 2021 - 7:40 PM

David Blake Takes First and Second in $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake

For Immediate Release

Sarah Madden and John Madden for TIEC

Mill Spring, NC – June 20, 2021 – Brittni Raflowitz (Palm Beach, FL) and Safira raced their way to a first-place finish to kick off the 2021 Tryon Summer Series, winning Sunday’s $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC). The pair claimed victory over the field with a jump-off time of 34.897 seconds. Darragh Kerins (Wellington, FL) and Delight M-G C De Leuze, the 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare (Armitage x Unknown) owned by Trefoil Farm LLC, took second place with a time of 34.966 seconds, while David Blake (Wellington, FL) claimed third, stopping the timers at 35.307 seconds on Nixon van D’Abelendereef, the 2013 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Toulon) owned by JP Stables B.V.

629_5963Brittni Raflowitz and Safira

Raflowitz and the 2012 Mecklenburger mare (Stylist x Carina) owned by ESI Show Jumpers are a new partnership, and the class was the mare’s first Grand Prix, she revealed. “We’re all really excited right now, and I’m so happy with her. She was unbelievable. I’ve only had her for a few months.” After deciding to challenge the Grand Prix to “just see how it would go,” Raflowitz was thrilled with the way her ride responded. “She felt like she was ready to go and was jumping out of her skin. It’s very exciting!

629_5972Darragh Kerins and Delight M-G C De Leuze

“The course actually felt really nice,” Raflowitz relayed of the Skip Bailey (Loxahatchee, FL) design. “You were able to move up in some spots and then you had to pull in some spots. He didn’t challenge us [too much], but he made us think a little bit. I was happy with it.” Raflowitz was one of six entries who qualified for the jump-off test, after 14 pairs toured the first-round course.

629_6003David Blake and Nixon van D’Abelendereef

Riders had the option of testing the jump-off track immediately following their clear first round or waiting to come back for a jump-off round, and Raflowitz chose to go ahead and ride her short course early on in the class. “After I realized that we were going into the second round, and with the way it was raining, I just decided to continue on. She felt really good and was warm and ready to go.”

629_6029Brittni Raflowitz and Safira in their presentation ceremony.

David Blake Wins $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake With a One-Two Punch

Allie Hay for TIEC

June 18, 2021 – David Blake (Wellington, FL) took both top spots in Friday’s $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake, scoring the win with Nixon Van D’Abelendreef in 39.633 seconds over the short course and claiming reserve aboard Hazel Rah, the 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Amanda Derbyshire, after their 42.166-second performance. In third, Fabian Herrera (Charlotte, NC) and Emperor, the 2012 warmblood gelding (Eldorado Van De Zeshoek x Imperija Esh 577), cleared the jump off in 42.582, trailing less than half a second behind Blake.

629_5425David Blake and Nixon Van D’Abelendreef

Blake and the 2013 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diamant De Semilly x Toulon) owned by JP Stables B.V rode their way to 2.5-second winning margin. Nixon Van D’Abelendreef, Blake revealed, may already be winning big, but he is just beginning his career as a showjumper. “I’m starting to get a little competitive with him. He hasn’t done much against the clock but today he was very quick and very neat.” Blake is using Tryon Summer 1 to train both of his horses for higher levels of competition, he shared.

629_5382David Blake and Hazel Rah

The course, designed by Skip Bailey (Loxahatchee, FL), was “technical,” Blake noted. “There were some tough bending lines, which caused a little bobble, actually.” Despite a single mistake, he went clear on both horses to finish in first and second place. Blake and Nixon Van D’Abelendreef have been competitive in the 1.40m classes, and the pair used the Welcome Stake as preparation for the Grand Prix. Their preparation aided them well; Blake took home a third place ribbon after a podium finish. No stranger to TIEC with a farm nearby, Blake enjoys bringing his younger horses to the venue to add more miles to their careers.

629_5398Fabian Herrera and Emperor

Hunter Highlights:
Gracie Gore (Charlotte, NC) piloted Black Keys, owned by the Gore Family, to earn champion honors of the Children’s Hunter Horse Division with a clean sweep and win in every class. Cassinova, owned and ridden by Marrisa Santaniello (Waxhaw, NC), earned reserve honors.

Noble Road and owner/rider Kristen Heslin (Medford, NJ) rode to a champion finish in the Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter 3’ Division, taking first place in every class. Owner/rider Rachael Lallier (Moorestown, NJ) and Accountable earned the reserve champion ribbon.

Jumper Highlights:
David O’Brien (Lexington, KY) earned champion and reserve honors in the DJS 6-Year-Old Young Jumper 1.25m Division. He piloted Paraselene SCF, owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, to champion honors and Polaris SCF, also owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, to reserve honors.

The JTWG, Inc. 1.30m Open Jumper Division congratulated Carly Sutherland (Granby, CT) and her own Jamiroquai HBF as champions, while reserve honors belonged to Anneliese Gattoni (Bedminster, NJ) and her own Trueholm’s Liva.

Equitation Highlights:
Tinsley Saunders (Knoxville, TN) earned first place in the WIHS Pony Equitation Medal aboard Poptart, owned by Elizabeth Ashley Embley. Anna Claire Carmichael (Knoxville, TN) took second place aboard her own Crowd Pleaser.

Alexis Gallati (Rockford, TN) was champion in the Adult Equitation Division aboard her own mount Iconic. Cecilia Molinari (Canton, GA) and her mount Quaruzo took home the reserve champion honors.

For full division results from Tryon Summer 1, click here. 

For full results from the $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix, click here.

For full results from the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix, click here.  

The Tryon Summer Series continues with Tryon Summer 2 hosted June 25-27 at TIEC. Live streaming for highlight classes is available at, and competitions are open to the public. 

Photos ©Sportfot. These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release. Tryon Summer Series competitors can request photos and review galleries at



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