Oken and Towell Gain Victories at the Biltmore Estate Summer Classic
RELEASE: July 25, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Flashpoint Media Services
It was a big day for little riders during the Supreme Kahuna Pony Classic held during Week I of the Biltmore Estate Summer Classic. More than 70 riders competed for the ultimate title, but when the scores were finally tallied it was Lucille Oken, of Charlotte, NC, and her pony Hi Lite who were crowned both Small Pony Supreme Kahuna and the ultimate Most Supreme Grand Kahuna Pony Rider.
The young riders were scored in four classes: the pony model, two classic rounds and the hack. Of the champions and reserves in each size divisions, one Supreme Kahuna was named and then the highest score of all was then awarded Most Supreme Grand Kahuna.
“Hi Lite was so good,” said an exuberant Oken of her mount of two nearly two years. “I love Hi Lite! The first day, the courses were pretty tough,” she noted, “The lines were pretty forward, and they were set at challenging angles. But it was really fun.” And her nine-year-old chestnut pony, with which Oken had top 10 scores in all her classes at the recent Devon Horse Show, rose to the occasion. “Normally lines are pretty slow for Hi Lite, so it was fun to take on a different kind of course,” said Oken. “Also, it was on grass, and some ponies can be so much different on grass.”
Oken, 11, and her sister Alise, 16, who earned the Supreme Kahuna title in the Small-Medium Green ponies with the Oken’s pony Showtime, both train with Robert Hunt of the Monroe, NC-based Hunters Lane Farm. The Oken family bought Hi Lite from Sanford, FL-based trainer Bill Schaub.
Each Supreme Kahuna winner was presented with a custom Essex shirt, a gift certificate from the Farm House, and will be featured in a future ad in The Chronicle of the Horse
, courtesy of Flashpoint Media Services. Oken was also happy to receive a “pretty cooler and a cookie jar, because that’s really good for treats, and all my ponies love treats.”
Oken is looking forward to continued competition during Week II of Biltmore aboard Hi Lite and her other ponies Gigi and In Style.Hardin Towell Debuts Artur 28 and Wins Juan Hernandez Memorial Prix
Despite nearly a year’s absence from competition Artur 28 and Jack Hardin Towell, Jr., of the Camden, SC-based Finally Farm have answered the burning question of whether fans would ever see the brilliant chestnut back in competition by winning the $25,000 Juan Hernandez Memorial Grand Prix at the Biltmore Summer Classics.
Allen Rheinheimer definitely did his homework after Thursday’s Welcome Stake and decided the test would be a simple pass or fail exam for the 18 horses stepping into his arena. With 12 obstacles to get past in the first round, including a triple bar and three sets of combinations, one of which [9AB] had the “gotcha” effect as it was a big brush oxer into a tall vertical directly ringside of the dining tent. No doubt a few of the horses could have told you just what was on the menu this evening as they hovered above the jumps just long enough to get a good whiff. Just part of the exam as Rheinheimer knew a distraction of the slightest could have costly rails drop. Having another day of crystal blue skies and pleasant temperatures provided another element of the test as traffic once again stopped, even a tour bus sat idle in the road and folks began picnicking on the embankment across from fences #1, #2, and #3.
Towell had three of the starting field and drew the number one spot in the order of go with Iago Du Quesnoy, the Warmblood gelding he co-owns with Neill Sites. “It was a good course and Iago jumped really well. My only concern was watching the turns of course," he said as he made reference to the fact that Iago has only one eye after loosing a battle with an infection last fall. Although Towell is convinced that his partner seems to be performing even better since his return to the ring, a fact proven again as the pair went clean in a time of 89.590, safely belo