Alise Oken and Teirra Top $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

Larkspur and Francesca Dildabanian Take Home the Tricolor in Coldwell Banker Children’s Hunter 14 and Under Division

Alise Oken and Teirra. Photo © Sportfot

Wellington, FL – February 3, 2013 – Week four of the2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Fidelity Investments, concluded on Sunday afternoon with a win for 21-year-old Alise Oken and Hi Hopes Farm, LLC’s Teirra in the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic.

Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela set the courses for week four jumper competition in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). In Sunday’s concluding class, 46 entries competed and six advanced to the jump-off. The top three riders jumped double clear rounds, and the fastest time belonged to Alise Oken and Teirra in 31.928 seconds, first to go in the jump-off.

Coming in second, Amanda Derbyshire and David Gochman’s Attack II stopped the clock in 33.613 seconds. HH Prince Faisal Al Shalan and Saudi Equestrian’s Talan placed third with their time of 34.128 seconds. Ben Maher and Mrs. Philips’ Quiet Easy 4 had the fastest time of the jump-off in 31.200 seconds, but had one rail down. Lorenzo de Luca and Michael Collins’ Chevalier also had one rail and placed fifth with their time of 34.588 seconds. Jessica Springsteen wrapped up the jump-off with eight faults aboard Stone Hill Farm’s Vindicat W to place sixth.

Sunday’s class was the biggest win of young rider Alise Oken’s show jumping career, although she has had a lot of other success in both the hunters and jumpers from an early age. As Oken advanced in the jumpers, her family’s Hi Hopes Farm purchased Teirra this fall, and Oken began showing the mare just before the start of the FTI WEF circuit.

Teirra, a 13-year-old KWPN mare by Tolano Van Het Riethof x Aldatus, previously showed successfully under amateur rider Addison Phillips and then competed internationally with U.S Olympic gold medalist Laura Kraut with wins and top finishes around the world. Kraut is also Oken’s trainer of three years, and is now coaching Oken and Teirra together in their new partnership.

Already, Oken and Teirra have won an $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m jump-off class during week one, topped week three’s High Amateur-Owner Jumper Power and Speed, and placed fifth in week one’s $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. Sunday’s win was a big development for the pair and an exciting achievement for Oken.

“I am so excited; it is amazing,” Oken smiled after her win. “This was my third 1.50m with her and I had to go second, so I was really nervous. The course was designed by Leopoldo, so obviously it was going to be hard and the time allowed was going to be tight. I went in and everything just came up right. It ended up going well and then I had to go first in the jump-off. I tried to go as fast as I could and hopefully everybody else would try to catch me and make mistakes, so it worked out.”

Going into the jump-off, trainer Laura Kraut gave Oken final pointers as she headed in first. “Laura just told me to go as fast as I could, but sometimes I turn in the air over jumps, so I needed to let her land and then turn, which I did and she was amazing and she went clear,” Oken noted.

Teirra is affectionately known in the barn as ‘Sharky’, which Oken admits is a nickname that the mare came with. “I don’t know why we call her that,” she laughed. “She always wants treats, so I guess she is a little spoiled.”

“She is a little bit hot,” Oken added. “In the barn she is fine, she’s so sweet, but when you are hand walking her and she is out, she is a little high strung. Her head is up and she just wants to look at everything, but she is a really sweet horse.”

Oken is very excited about the progression of her new partnership with Teirra and hopes to move up to showing in the WEF Challenge Cup grand prix classes on Thursdays. She has her sights set on competing in the $30,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 7, which will be held on the grass derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC during week seven.

“It has all clicked so fast and so well; I just can’t imagine that it has already gone so well so far,” Oken acknowledged. “I might try to do the WEF in a few weeks. Hopefully if everything is going as well as it is right now she will be really good in it.”

Also showing in the International Arena on Sunday, Victoria Colvin and Waikiki, owned by Rivers Edge, won the $10,000 Maria Mendelsohn Low Junior Jumper Classic for the second week in a row. Eugenio Garza and El Milagro’s Barian won the $10,000 Griffis Residential High Junior Jumper Classic and Garza was presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award.

Final Results: $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

  1. TEIRRA      ALISE OKEN   HI HOPES FARM, LLC: 0/0/31.928
  4. QUIET EASY 4       BEN MAHER    MRS. PHILIPS: 0/4/31.200
  9. KAID DU RY         ALISE OKEN   HI HOPES FARM, LLC: 4/73.599
  10. SOLERINA          SHANE SWEETNAM    SWEET OAK FARM: 4/76.399
  11. ZHUM CW          MCLAIN WARD         ILAN FERDER & MISSY CLARK: 4/76.502

Larkspur and Francesca Dildabanian Take Home the Tricolors in Coldwell Banker Children’s Hunter 14 and Under Division

Larkspur and Francesca Dildabanian. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography

The fourth week of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) concluded Sunday with the Coldwell Banker Children’s Hunter 14 and Under division, hosted in the Equine Tack and Nutritionals Ring 6. Champion honors were awarded to Ashley Whitner’s Larkspur, ridden by Francesca Dildabanian. The pair placed first and third over fences during day one of competition and finished up day two with another blue ribbon finish over fences.

Reserve champion was Castlekeep, ridden and owned by Lili Halterman. Halterman and her newly purchased mount were first and sixth over fences on day one, followed by first place in the second over fences round of day two. Sunday’s class was only Halterman’s second show with her 10-year-old Hanoverian, and she’s thrilled with his performance thus far. “Castlekeep is brand new, so it’s really exciting that we’re already reserve champion together. We’re off to a great start,” Halterman said.

Halterman trains alongside Dildabanian with Richard Cunkle. The girls remain close friends and enjoy having a sweep of the division. “We keep a pretty friendly competition. It’s really nice. We feel like we won the division together,” Halterman described.

“Lili is my really good friend. I’m so excited for her since she just got a new horse. I like being able to show with her. It stays very friendly between the two of us,” Dildabanian added, echoing Halterman’s sentiment.

Dildabanian has also had a short history with her mount. She began riding Larkspur, a twelve-year-old Oldenberg gelding, only a month before coming to the FTI WEF. “I just started riding him in December. He’s so much fun! He has a lot of scope so it’s really fun to ride him. I’m so lucky to be able to show him,” Dildabanian stated.

Dildabanian is especially thankful to be able to count on Larkspur’s experience, especially in a highly competitive division of 40 riders. “He usually jumps higher than this, so if I make a mistake or don’t have a perfect distance, I can always rely on him. He’ll never do anything bad; he’s just really sweet,” Dildabanian explained.

Dildabanian eagerly makes the pilgrimage south to the FTI WEF every winter from New York City. “This is my third year coming to WEF. I love the warm weather, of course, but I really like how the show grounds are so big and there’s always something to do,” Dildabanian concluded.

Sunday’s competition concluded week four of FTI WEF competition. Week five, sponsored by Adequan, will run February 6-10. For full results, please visit

Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 9 through March 31. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded. For more information, please visit

About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011. More information can be found at

Please visit or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

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