Alise Oken awarded Best Junior Hunter Stake Round at 2008 Washington International Horse Show

Washington, DC - October 24, 2008 -- The final junior hunter classes were held Friday at the Washington International Horse Show. After the stake classes were judged in each of four divisions, a trophy presentation was held to honor the best jumping round of the four riders who received a first place ribbon in their classes. Taking home this award was top junior rider Alise Oken of Charlotte, NC, and her horse, Take Away.

"I am so happy; I am really excited about my wins today. I didn't start out too well and today I was trying to end on a good note. I was really happy with my rides," said Oken. "I just wanted to improve on what I did yesterday. He was a little fresh yesterday so I had to keep my reins short and be alert in case he spooked, but he was perfect."

Oken took home the blue ribbon in a Large Junior 16-17 Hunter stake class. She also earned a first-place ribbon under saddle. Oken and Take Away have had much success in their recent shows, including reserve champion at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and High Point Older Junior Hunter Champion, Overall Grand Junior Hunter Champion and Best Child Rider award at the Capital Challenge Horse Show.

Outside the ring, she also received top honors--last week she was inducted into the National Honor Society, an elite group of students, who are chosen based on grades and extra-curricular involvement.

"I am really, really happy. I tried so hard to get in, and I'm excited to hear I was chosen," said Oken.

Oken's younger sister, Lucie Oken, is competing in the pony hunters devision at the Washington International Horse Show.