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Lucie and Alise Oken Garner Multiple Championships at Atlanta Fall Classic II Horse Show

Conyers, GA - November 19, 2008 - This past week, Lucie and Alise Oken of Hi Hopes Farm, LLC had a stellar week of competition at the Atlanta Fall Classic II Horse Show in Conyers, GA. Under the tutelage of Steve Heinecke and Jeff Wirthman, the Oken sisters have amassed countless awards over the past year, and they continue to ride their way into the winner's circle. Hi Hopes Farm, LLC is owned by Marc and Celene Oken and located in Weddington, NC.

At the Atlanta Fall Classic II Horse Show, 12-year-old Lucie Oken came home with first place in the Taylor Harris Children's Medal on her new horse, Mid-Accord. After winning two blue ribbons in the Children's Hunters on her new mount, Oken and Mid-Accord received the division championship.

She captured another first place ribbon in the Children's Hunter Classic aboard In Style, and the duo earned top ribbons in the Children's Hunter division as well. In the Large Pony Hunters, the young rider won the reserve championship on Land's End Mad Hatter after they took home two firsts and two thirds. She also rode Ever After to top ribbons in the same division.

Alise Oken, who is 17 years old, was victorious in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters on Southern Style. She guided her mount to three blue ribbons and won the championship for the division. In the jumper ring, she piloted Pedro to fourth place in the $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.

"We had a fantastic week," said Heinecke. "Alise rode well and was very consistent. Lucie was riding a new horse that her family recently purchased, and it was the first time she had ever showed him. She rode him beautifully in the medal and was called back to test. She was sitting in second and moved up to first. She is going to be such a beautiful equitation rider."

Wirthman added, "I hadn't seen the girls since Washington [International Horse Show] because I had gone down to Florida. It was like two completely different girls! They were both very, very successful at indoors, and they have improved so much just from their experience there. They came back and rose to the occasion in Atlanta; it was really exciting."

"Alise is just one of the most talented young riders I've ever worked with," he noted, "and Lucie is coming up and has such a passion for the sport. She is coming along like gangbusters, and she's ready to rock and roll," he laughed. "I think, by Florida, she will probably be bumping up into the bigger equitation classes. Those girls really give it their all."

"Steve and I could not do this without such a wonderful staff," he related. "They work with us and get the horses ready for the girls, and we couldn't do it without them. Steve gets the horses prepared unbelievably well, and we have another girl that rides a little bit too; you just can't do it without a good team, and we have an incredible team."

In addition to Lucie and Alise Oken's success, their pony Hi Lite took home the Small Pony Hunter Championship with Aleece Jarman in the irons. Hi Lite pinned first in the Pony Hunter Classic as well.

The horses and riders at Hi Hopes Farm, LLC will compete again next week at the Atlanta Fall Classic III Horse Show. The competition will be held from November 19-23, 2008.

Photo Caption: Alise Oken on Southern Style. Photo (C) 2008 Jennifer Wood/PhelpsSports.com. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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