Hi Hopes Farm LLC and The Oken Family Joins Phelps Media Group As Newest Client
Written by: Jenny Underwood Client:Hi Hopes Farm LLC Release Date:2008-09-19
Wellington, FL – September 18, 2008 – Phelps Media Group, the country’s top equestrian public relations firm is pleased to announce its newest client, Hi Hopes Farm LLC and the Oken Family. Hi Hopes Farm LLC is owned by Marc and Celene Oken and is located in Weddington, NC.
The state-of-the-art training facility offers 21stalls, three rings, an outdoor course, and is home base for outstanding junior riders Alise and Luciel Oken. Hi Hopes Farm LLC owns many of the best hunters, jumpers and ponies in the country, and is known for producing top quality horses and riders. Hi Hopes Farm LLC is a generous contributor to the horse show circuit. This year, Marc Oken and Hi Hopes Farm LLC co-sponsor the ever-popular $45,000 Junior/Amateur Jumper division at Capital Challenge Horse Show.
Hi Hopes Farm LLC employs two trainers, Steve Heinecke and Jeff Wirthman. Heinecke runs the farm day to day and trains many of the Oken horses. Some of Heinecke’s successes as a junior rider include winning the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, CT Medal Finals, and New England Medal Finals.
Heinecke has had top riders and horses closely associated with him throughout his career. Heinecke has ridden many hunters to championships, including Lone Star, You Know Me Best, Goldschlogger, and many more. He also won many Grand Prix events as well as 5, 6, 7, and 8-year-old Young Jumper classes on Viva, Mandasi, Victoria, Mosquito Mounds Thunder and more. As a trainer, he has coached Amanda Fuscas, Jenny Belknap, Tracey Kopp, Katie Cozz, Alex Rosenstein, and more. In addition to riding and training, he is actively seeking his judge’s card. Heinecke brings tremendous experience, training techniques and insight to the Oken Team.
Wirthman has been an influential part of the equine industry for many years. A top rated judge and trainer, he has judged almost every major horse show and medal finals in the country. Wirthman brings theory, experience and a judge’s perspective to the Oken Team. He has trained top riders all over the country, including Paige Johnson. In addition to producing winning riders, Wirthman also produces horses that have gone on to be Horse of The Year. Tiny’s Time, Take Away, Did It Again, Frito Bandito, and Spectacular were just a few of the horses Wirthman worked with.
Sixteen-year-old Alise Oken is already a proven winner at the national level. With tremendous wins on ponies, she is now ranked number two in the country on her junior jumper Pedro. She was the winner of the Zimmerman Invitational in the last week of the CN Winter Equestrian Festival and is on her way to being the number one junior rider in the country in both hunters and jumpers. Her horses include Alisette, Take Away, Pedro, Southern Style, and Quentin.
Twelve-year-old Luciel Oken has taken the pony divisions by storm. She was reserve champion in the Small Pony Hunters at Capital Challenge last year on her spectacular nine-year-old pony Hi Lite. She had had many wins and continues to sweep the small, medium and large pony hunters. In addition, she is a major contender in the equitation and jumpers. Her ponies and horses include Hi Lite, Promise, Lands End Mad Hatter, Ever After, Mid Accord, Ibezia, and In Style.
At any major horse show, the Oken girls are known as fierce competitors. They have brought home championships and blue ribbons at almost every one of the 25 shows on their tour. Their success can be contributed to their natural talent, gifted horses and strong work ethic. Unlike some junior riders who do not spend any time in the barn, the Alise and Luciel Oken are extremely hands-on and involved with the training and care of their horses. Their involvement has allowed the girls a well rounded, in-depth level of understanding that separates them from the competition and keeps them winning.
Competitions in the near future for Hi Hopes Farm LLC and the Oken girls include the Middleburg Classic, Capital Challenge, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and the Washington International Horse Show.