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Alise Oken Captures Highest Hunter Score and Large Junior Hunter Championship

Upperville, VA - September 22, 2008 - Alise and Luciel Oken were major contenders last week at the Middleburg Classic Horse Show, which ran September 16-21, 2008. The Oken girls ride at Hi Hopes Farm LLC, one of the top hunter/jumper training facilities in the country. Located in Weddington, NC, Hi Hopes Farm LLC is best known for producing horses, ponies, and riders of the highest quality. Top hunters and jumpers include Hi Lite, Take Away, Quentin, Pedro and many more.

Alise and Luciel Oken and Hi Hopes Farm LLC are led by rider/trainer Steve Heinecke and judge/trainer Jeff Wirthman. Both Heinecke and Wirthman have tremendous experience and knowledge in the equine industry, and have a track record of producing many successful riders and horses.

Alise Oken was a popular name at the top of score cards last week. In addition to being Champion of the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, Oken's spectacular riding caught the attention of judges. One of her rounds earned a score of 92, the highest score of the entire show.

"We are extremely proud of Alise. Her riding continues to grow and get stronger every day. She has become so consistent and is hard to beat out there. We see a difference every time she gets on a horse. This girl is going places," said Heinecke. "You can see her thinking out on course, and she sticks to the plan we make. She received a score of 92; the results speak for themselves."

Alise Oken was a star in the hunters last week. Continuing her success in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17, she garnered Large Junior Hunter Champion on her phenomenal horse Take Away. Oken and Take Away won three out of the five classes, picking up three firsts, fourth and seventh-place ribbons.

Oken was just a mere few points off from reserve champion on her other Large Junior Hunter Southern Style, who Oken also rode to some great ribbons. On her Small Junior Hunter Alisette, Oken rode to first and second-place finishes in several of the classes.

Luciel Oken dominated the Pony Hunters last week as well. Oken finished high in the ribbons in the Large, Medium and Small Pony Hunter divisions. She was once again a tri-color ribbon earner, receiving the reserve championship award on her large pony Ever After. The pair rode to first, two seconds, fourth and seventh-place ribbons.

Oken also rode to a first place finish in a Medium Pony Hunter class on her pony Promise. In addition to the first place ribbon, she also came away with several other fantastic prizes. Oken and her fantastic small pony hunter Hi Lite competed with great results in the Small Pony Hunter division and just missed reserve champion. In the Children's Small/Medium Pony Hunter division, she rode Goliath to a first-place award.

Oken was aboard her horse Mid Accord for the Middleburg Children's Hunter Classic. Following in the steps of her big sister, she piloted Mid Accord to another attention-grabbing score of 87, putting her in the top five finishers.

"Luciel is coming along beautifully. She is either winning or placing high in the ribbons in ever class she competes in. She has been dominating the pony hunters, and she is only going to get better," said Heinecke. "I can see her taking home champion in every division she enters pretty soon. She is such a hard worker; you can tell she wants to win."

The Oken girls yet again swept the competition at another top rated event. Taking home championships, reserve championships, and some of the best scores of the show is just another reason proving they are destined for greatness.

The Oken girls return home for one week and will compete next at Capital Challenge. Capital Challenge runs September 29-October 1, 2008.


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