Tag Archives: Helen Langehanenberg

Langehanenberg Steals the Limelight on Home Ground in Neumünster

Photo: Helen Langehanenberg and Damsey FRH. (FEI/Stefan Lafrentz)

The extraordinary ups and downs of sport were highlighted once again when Helen Langehanenberg (35) and Damsey sealed a superb victory at the seventh leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2017/2018 Western European League on home soil in Neumünster, Germany. At the previous round in Amsterdam (NED) three weeks ago, the 2013 FEI World Cup™ Dressage champion had to retire when her 16-year-old stallion got his tongue over the bit and their performance fell apart. However, it was perfect harmony every step of the way as their strong score of 83.800 pinned compatriots Dorothee Schneider (49) and Sammy Davis Jr into runner-up spot while Denmark’s Daniel Bachmann-Andersen (27) and Blue Hors Zack slotted into third.

“This was maybe our best result ever – Damsy felt great; he had the perfect mixture of freshness and motivation and he just performed the way every rider wants; the communication between us was really easy!” — Helen Langehanenberg GER (1st)

The atmosphere in the Neumünster arena is notoriously intense. As runner-up Schneider said, “Everything about this show is brilliant, especially the crowd who is so close that it feels like they are also riding your horse!” That didn’t stop her from posting 81.565 for second place and moving even closer to Sweden’s Patrik Kittel at the top of the Western European leaderboard. With just two qualifiers left to go, in Gothenburg (SWE) next weekend and ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) two weeks later, that’s a really good place to be, because only two German riders can join defending champion Isabell Werth at the Final in Paris (FRA) in April, and sealing one of those two spots is a battle in itself. A total of nine riders, and a maximum of three from any nation, can make the cut from the Western European series.

Spain’s Morgan Barbancon Mestre, fourth to go with Sir Donnerhall ll, caused a stir when stopped by the Ground Jury because her floorplan had been changed overnight. When this was resolved she was allowed to compete, but it was Marie Emilie Bretenoux and Quartz of Jazz from France who led the way at the halfway stage with a mark of 76.300. This, however, would be improved on again and again, Denmark’s Bachmann-Andersen presenting a lovely picture of relaxation and balance with his 14-year-old stallion that rocketed him into the lead on a big mark of 81.475 with six left to go.

Langehanenberg pushed him off his pedestal immediately, however, and Schneider then pinned him back to third, but the talented Dane has now moved into joint-fourth on the leaderboard and looks set to make a big impression at the Final. Langehanenberg winner won’t make it to Paris. “I’m expecting a baby in June, so this was our last show before that and it’s the perfect result! I hope to be back in the saddle again in July though,” Langehanenberg explained.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Head to Head of Two Mighty Talents at 2014 Reem Acra Final

Defending Reem Acra champions, Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW, will face the toughest of opposition from Olympic and European champions Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro from Great Britain at next week’s Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2013/2014 Final. Photo: FEI/Karl Heinz Freiler, Kit Houghton.

Lausanne (SUI), 10 April 2014 – There is nothing more fascinating than witnessing two mighty talents going head to head, so the anticipation and excitement in the lead-up to the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final 2014 at Lyon (FRA) next week is at an all-time high.

Take the precision, elegance, energy and control of the defending champions, Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW, and pit that against the extravagance, flair, power and presence of the Olympic and European champions and multiple record-breakers Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro from Great Britain, and you have the recipe for an electrifying weekend of competition.  The lightness in their way of going has delighted the judges and spectators alike as these two dancing horses have raised the bar for all others in recent times.

The 29th FEI World Cup Dressage Final brings together 18 riders from 11 nations who have qualified from four different Leagues around the globe. And while the Western European League in particular throws up some of the strongest contenders, there is little doubt that the biggest threat to a back-to-back double for Langehanenberg comes from the sole British representative.

Powerhouses of the sport

The last time these two powerhouses of the sport met was at the Blue Hors FEI European Dressage Championships at Herning in Denmark last summer when Langehanenberg helped her country clinch the team title for the 22nd time with her brilliant last-to-go ride. She did so with cool conviction, but the following day, when all the main contenders were plagued by big blunders, she had to settle for Grand Prix Special silver behind Dujardin who also made a significant mistake in her test.

Dujardin then went on to add the European Freestyle title to her ever-growing medal haul and, over the winter months, continued her amazing run of form when raising the Freestyle world record target score to a colossal 93.975 when victorious at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier at Olympia, London in December. This record was previously set at 92.300 by The Netherlands’ Edward Gal and the black stallion Totilas at the same venue in 2009. Dujardin now holds all three world records at the same time: for Freestyle, Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix.

Those watching Langehanenberg closely, however, have noticed her personal-best Freestyle scores, first at Stuttgart (GER) last November where she posted 89.775 and then at Neumunster (GER) in February where Damon Hill NRW earned a mark of 90.375, are moving ever closer to those of her British counterpart. When it comes to next week’s showdown in Lyon, both ladies are likely to be very aware that mistakes of any kind could prove very costly indeed in the battle for the coveted Reem Acra trophy.

Most success

The record books show that The Netherlands is the nation with most success at this Final, with 12 wins in total. Nine of those underlined the extraordinary dominance of a single rider, Anky van Grunsven, who really put Freestyle Dressage on the map with her gift for showmanship and choreography. Over a 13-year period between her first victory with the brilliant Bonfire at Los Angeles (USA) in 1995 and her last, with Salinero on home ground at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NED) in 2008, van Grunsven enjoyed a spectacular nine-time winning spree that has left her in a league all her own.

Her greatest rival down the years was Germany’s Isabell Werth, the double FEI World Cup Dressage champion, also an exceptional athlete who won her first title with Fabienne at Gothenburg (SWE) in 1992, her second 15 years later with Warum Nicht FRH in Las Vegas (USA) and she has been runner-up on no less than four occasions. And 44-year-old Werth continues to amaze, currently lying sixth on the FEI World Dressage rankings which are led by Dujardin in No. 1 spot, Langehanenberg in second and Dutchman Edward Gal in third ahead of Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven.

Missing out

Denmark’s Anna Kasprzak lies fifth but is missing out on the Reem Acra Final after having to forfeit her qualifying spot due to a fall last week. She has been replaced by Mikala Gundersen who, like Lars Petersen, is US-based, and making up the Danish trio of representatives at Lyon is Nanna Skodborg Merrald, who made the cut through consistent placings on the Reem Acra Western European League circuit over the winter months.

Dong Seon Kim from Korea, who is also based in America, has taken the single qualifying spot available to riders not represented in any of the four designated leagues, while Tina Konyot and Cesar Parra were last week named as the North American League contenders. Inessa Merkulova will fly the Russian flag, but the prize for the most long-distance traveller already goes to Australia’s Mary Hanna, winner of the Pacific League.

Youngest contenders

Two of the youngest competitors are 28-year-old Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl from Germany and Holland’s Danielle Heijkoop, who turns 27 next Wednesday. Heijkoop joins Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud to complete the impressive Dutch line-up, Marcela Krinke Susmelj competes for Switzerland, Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven represents Sweden and Marc Boblet will fly the French flag with pride.

It is of course expected that younger athletes will continue to improve and develop with the passage of time, but that only serves to make it all the more remarkable that, at just 28 years of age, Dujardin has already achieved more than all the rest put together during her short career that only really began in earnest when she was given the ride on Valegro three years ago.

It normally takes a lifetime to develop the required skills, but the girl who worked for Carl Hester as a groom before the British Dressage rider and trainer noticed her exceptional talent has rocketed to the very top like a shooting star.

Langehanenberg, still only 31, has taken a different route. As she said before last year’s triumph at the Final in Gothenburg, she owes much of her success to the experience she has gained from competing in the Reem Acra series over several years.

No easy task

Langehanenberg knows that pinning Dujardin back will be no easy task, but the defending champion has an unerring belief in her stallion Damon Hill NRW. Taking on the British rider and her gelding Valegro, holds no fears.

She travels to this year’s Reem Acra Final in the knowledge that, if everything falls into place and if she and her horse continue their increasingly upward scoring pattern, she can successfully challenge the British duo and, perhaps, retain the coveted Reem Acra crown.

The Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final will take place in Lyon (FRA) from 17-21 April 2014. For all information on the French fixture, contact Press Officer Pascal Renauldon, Email p.renauldon@rbpresse.com, Tel +333 44 620 621.

Facts and Figures:

Lyon (FRA) presents the 29th FEI World Cup Dressage Final from 17 to 21 April.

Defending Reem Acra champions are Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and the stallion Damon Hill NRW.

A total of 18 riders from 11 nations will challenge for the 2014 title.

The Netherlands holds the record for most wins at the Final, with 12 in total.

German riders are next on the list of winning-most countries with nine victories.

The Netherlands’ Anky van Grunsven boosted the Dutch statistics with a spectacular nine-time winning spree that was spread over a 13-year period.

Van Grunsven recorded her first victory with the brilliant Bonfire at Los Angeles (USA) in 1995 and secured her last, with Salinero, on home ground at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NED) in 2008.

There was a last-minute change to the Danish line-up for the 2014 Final when Anna Kasprzak was injured in a fall and was replaced by Mikala Gundersen, who earned her qualifying points in the North American League

Denmark, The Netherlands and Germany will all be strongly represented with three riders each.

Reem Acra FEI Hub http://fei.org/fei/sponsors/reem-acra-and-fei gives access to extensive information about the series.

FEI World Cup Dressage, the only worldwide series in this discipline, is now in its 29th season. The series, created in 1985, comprises four leagues: Western European, Central European, North American (including Canada) and Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Asia). Each FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier consists of a Grand Prix test, which in turn is a qualification for the Freestyle to Music competition, where league points are accumulated towards places in the Final. Judged on both technical and artistic merit, the FEI World Cup Dressage combines art, sport and partnership between horse and rider at the highest level and consistently proves a winning formula with audiences all over the world.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Lyon:

Pascal Renauldon
Press Officer
P.renauldon@rbpresse.com
+333 44 620 621

At FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Another Personal Best for Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW as They Prove Untouchable in Neumünster

Defending series champions, Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW, strolled to victory when posting a new personal best score on home ground at the sixth qualifying round of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League 2013/2014. Photo: FEI/Karl-Heinz Freiler.

Neumunster (GER), 16 February 2014 – Defending series champions, Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW, strutted to victory with considerable ease at the sixth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2013/2014 Western European League in Neumunster (GER) today.  A performance that oozed confidence, cohesion and comfort ensured the 31-year-old rider and her 14-year-old stallion have satisfied the qualifying criteria for the Final, and they did it in style when posting a personal best Freestyle score of 90.375.

They pipped runners-up Anna Kasprzak and Donnperignon from Denmark by almost seven percentage points, while Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl celebrated her 28th birthday by clinching third with a highly impressive performance from Unee BB. And with Isabell Werth (Don Johnson) lining up fourth and Fabienne Lutkemeier (D’Agostino) finishing fifth, the raw strength of the German contingent was indisputable.  Team trainer, three-time Olympic team gold medallist and double FEI World Cup Dressage champion Monica Theodorescu, will be spoiled for choice in deciding the three riders to represent Germany at the Final which will take place in Lyon (FRA) in April.

Early lead

Going third of the 15 starters, Charming Boy belied his veteran status when the 18-year-old gelding took the early lead with a score of 75.225 for Sweden’s Sofie Lexner.  However Finland’s Terhi Stegars and Axis TSF soon re-set the target when posting a mark of 77.175.  The pure appeal of this neat and handsome 15-year-old Trakehner stallion is always difficult to resist, and the small but packed stadium of spectators showed their appreciation with a wild round of applause for this pair’s performance.

It was The Netherlands’ Hans Peter Minderhoud who was holding the advantage at the halfway stage however on a score of 78.350.  The Dutchman brought a new ride, the 12-year-old stallion Johnson B, to the German fixture and placed seventh in yesterday’s Grand Prix, but the horse showed even more of his potential today with nice piaffe, extravagant canter pirouette and big, open movement that rocketed him, temporarily, to the top of the leaderboard.

Minderhoud described Johnson B as inexperienced even though he has had the horse since he was a three-year-old.  “He did all the Young Horse classes; he went to Verden and did the Small Tours but then he was out for a while and was breeding a lot.  Now he has grown up and he knows all the stuff, so he’s now ready for the World Cups and bigger international shows,” the Dutch rider explained.

Overtaken

His score would be overtaken by Lutkemeier and D’Agostino who, third to go after the break, produced a mark of 80.050, only for that to be blown away by Langehanenberg’s result with Damon Hill.  The defending champions cruised through their Freestyle floor plan, nailing every movement and flawless in their communication.  Such is their understanding of each other now that the pair move as one, the stallion seemingly keen to put on his best possible show each time he enters the arena, just like his rider.

“He is so much with me and working with me and he wants to present himself to the crowd.  The arena here is only as big as a dressage arena with no extra space so the audience is very, very close.  That’s not easy for every horse, although most of them seemed to manage it really well today, but it surely suits Dami (Damon Hill NRW) because he just can’t get close enough to his fans – he loves it!” said Langehanenberg afterwards.

From there it was always going to be a procession for the minor placings, and Denmark’s Anna Kasprzak produced a Freestyle full of strong canter pirouettes, bouncy canterwork and rhythmic passage to rack up 83.575 to go into runner-up spot. That proved too good for the remaining two, Isabell Werth’s Don Johnson FRH posting 80.250 that left her fourth place when, last in, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl earned a mark of 82.425 to slot into third.  This latter score marked another step-up in form for this German rider whose results have been ever-improving all season.

Von Bredow-Werndl comes from a family with a real sporting tradition: her father, Klaus, is a former German sailing champion and her mother, Micaela, was a member of the German junior national ski team for seven years.  Her brother, Benjamin, also competes for Germany in Dressage and her parents run Dressage Centre Aubenhausen which is located between the towns of Bad Aibling and Rosenheim, Germany.

Best result

“This is the best result my horse and I have had,” von Bredow-Wrendl said.  “We really enjoyed it and we had a great ride I think; we had a lot of fun.  I didn’t have to change anything for today (after yesterday’s Grand Prix). Having said that, the warm-up arena is cold and the main arena itself is extremely warm so it feels like you’re entering into a sauna!  My horse really enjoyed it though, and I think the crowd did as well,” the German rider added.

Runner-up, Anna Kasprzak, said she was “super happy” with the performance of Donnperignon.  “I knew yesterday (after the Grand Prix in which he also finished second to Damon Hill NRW) that he would be better today.  For every competition that we have together we keep learning so much from each other.  It is such an amazing feeling to become even better every time, every performance,” the Danish rider pointed out.

Judge at C, America’s Liselotte Fore, admitted to finding today’s competition quite a jaw-dropping experience.  “I had never seen the horses or the riders here before, so I came in with a fresh pair of eyes.  The performances were incredible and my eyes kept getting wider and my mouth didn’t stop dropping – it was unbelievable!” she said.

“It is great when a judge can use the upper scale of the marking, always wanting to give 9 and 10s!  It was great to see the riders and horses working in such harmony; the performances were exceptional and I enjoyed it tremendously,” she added.  It wasn’t just the riders who showed courage and determination today however as the Ground Jury didn’t hesitate to mark riders for what they saw on the day regardless of those rider’s results in yesterday’s preliminary Grand Prix competition, and there were some significant changes.

High points

For Langehanenberg, the satisfaction of achieving another personal best Freestyle score and her faith in her ever-reliable stallion were the high points today.  She laid down her previous personal best of 89.775 when topping the second round of the current Reem Acra series at Stuttgart (GER) last November.  “Another personal record – it is really incredible!” she said.  “Dami is so willing to work and he enjoys so much being in the arena.  He’s absolutely amazing!” she added with delight.

And she applauded the spectators for their support for all the competitors today.  “We are here in North Germany where there are so many great horsemen and I think the audience really has a great understanding of the horse.  They clap every rider, no matter how they perform, and they give us all a great feeling.  No-one always has a good ride, but even if you go badly here you go home with a good feeling because you know the spectators appreciate what you are trying to achieve.”

She thanked the show organisers and sponsors.  “Thank you to Paul and Bettina (Schockemohle) as the show here is fantastic and I want to thank our sponsors, especially Reem Acra and her support for the Dressage FEI World Cup series – it’s really special.  In an era when it is difficult for organisers to find sponsors, the likes of Reem Acra are there and ready to invest in our sport,” Langehanenberg said.

Now for the defending champion it is time to settle back and plan her campaign before the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final in April.  “Normally we don’t do too much between shows but it depends on the length of time – we will have to sit down and discuss what to do after this weekend,” Langehanenberg explained.  She is buoyed up by today’s score: “We are absolutely in the 90s now, and I really believe in Dami,” she said.  And she is looking forward to Final.

When asked today if she can reclaim the title, she replied, “I don’t know; every day is a new day.  We will try to do a strong performance without mistakes and we will do our very best – we can’t do any more than that!”

For further information on the sixth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2013/2014 Western European League series at Neumunster, Germany, go to website http://pst-marketing.de or contact Press Officer Andreas Kerstan, Email andreas.kerstan@comtainment.de, Tel: +49 430 782 7973/+49 341 678 6012.

The next and last qualifying leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2013/2014 Western European League will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden on Saturday 1 March.  For details of the Swedish fixture, visit website www.gothenburghorseshow.com or contact Press Officers Matilda Hjertstrand, matilda.hjertstrand@ridsport.se, Tel + 46 709 79 56 31 / Mayvor Thorin, mayvor.thorin@gotevent.se, Tel +46 705 82 84 20.

Result: Full details here.

Facts and Figures:

The competition took place in Neumunster’s Holstenhalle, a listed building that has been home to world-class equestrian events for the last 50 years.

There are two further qualifying legs yet to go in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2013/2014 Western European League series – at Gothenburg (SWE) on Saturday 1 March and at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NED) on Saturday 22 March 2014.

15 horse-and-rider combinations competed in today’s qualifying round.

The winner was defending champion Helen Langehanenberg from Germany with Damon Hill NRW, the horse she rode to victory at the 2012/2013 Final in Gothenburg (SWE) last April.

This year’s Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final will take place in Lyon (FRA) from 17-21 April.

Ground Jury for today’s competition – At E, Jacques van Daele; At H, Dr Evi Eisenhardt; At C, Liselotte Fore; At M, Leif Tornblad; At B, Marietta Almasy.

Today’s winning score was 90.375%.

A total of 15 competed.

Today’s competition took place in front of a capacity crowd of 3,500 spectators.

The oldest horse in today’s competition was the 18-year-old Charming Boy ridden by Sweden’s Sofie Lexner who finished tenth.

The youngest horses were both 12-year-olds – Don Johnson FRH who finished third for Germany’s Isabell Werth, and Johnson 6 who finished sixth for The Netherlands’ Hans Peter Minderhoud.

Quotes:

Helen Langehanenberg GER: “He (Damon Hill NRW) doesn’t mind if it is loud, and the more people there are the more he likes to go for it!  It was a really good ride today.”

Judge at C, America’s Liselotte Fore: “The atmosphere in this particular show is amazing and the public is so knowledgeable that when the horses got a bit excited they quieted down until it was a bit more relaxed – that tells you how much they know and care about the sport.”

Paul Schockemohle, Event Director: “As you know we do a few shows in Germany, and they are all different, especially Neumunster which has a really special atmosphere.  For me, it is a great pleasure to be here.  A big thank you to the spectators; they were unbelievable.  The people here have such horsemanship which is why I love to organise this show so much as well.”

Full Standings here.

FEI YouTube: http://youtu.be/FTg0vEc3EFM

Reem Acra FEI Hub http://fei.org/fei/sponsors/reem-acra-and-fei gives access to extensive information about the series.

FEI World Cup Dressage, the only worldwide series in this discipline, has entered its 28th season. The series, created in 1985, comprises four leagues: Western European, Central European, North American (including Canada) and Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Asia). Each FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier consists of a Grand Prix test, which in turn is a qualification for the Freestyle to Music competition, where league points are accumulated towards places in the Final. Judged on both technical and artistic merit, the FEI World Cup Dressage combines art, sport and partnership between horse and rider at the highest level and consistently proves a winning formula with audiences all over the world.

The complete rules, calendar, updated ranking and results are available here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contacts:

At Neumünster:

Andreas Kerstan
Press Officer
andreas.kerstan@comtainment.de
+ +49 430 782 7973/+49 341 678 6012

At FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
Email: grania.willis@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 142

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
Email: malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 133

Personal Best for Langehanenberg as Defending Champions Steal Reem Acra Show at Stuttgart

Defending champions, Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW, swept to a convincing victory at the second leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2013/2014 series. Photo: FEI/Karl-Heinz Frieler.

Stuttgart (GER), 16 November 2013 – Defending champions, Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and the super-stallion Damon Hill NRW, swept to a glorious victory at the second leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2013/2014 series on home turf in Stuttgart today.  “It was unbelievable! I was speechless when I came out of the arena!” said the 31-year-old rider who posted a personal-best Freestyle score of 89.775 at the end of a spectacular test.

The golden girls of German dressage were all in fine form this afternoon, and the four members of the side that clinched the team title at this summer’s Blu Hors FEI European Dressage Championships in Herning, Denmark were holding the top four places as the competition drew to a close.  But Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven spoiled the party just a little when, last to go with Don Auriello, she slotted into third, behind runners-up Isabell Werth and El Santo NRW, and pushing Fabienne Lutkemeier and D’Agostino down to fourth and Kristina Sprehe and Desperados FRH into fifth place in the final analysis. Today however confirmed once again that German Dressage is in great shape, and a colossal power to be reckoned with.

And that was further reinforced by the performance of yet another promising newcomer to the top level of the sport.  Jessica von Bredow-Werndl has all the credentials to suggest that she has what it takes, and the 27-year-old former Junior and Young Rider double-champion and holder of multiple German national titles steered Unee BB into seventh place today, close behind The Netherlands’ Patrick van der Meer and Uzzo.

Great afternoon of sport

The Stuttgart crowd knew they were in for a great afternoon of sport, and they enjoyed every moment of it with generous applause for all-comers while not holding back on their opinion of the Ground Jury’s decisions.  “It’s all good for the sport,” said today’s Judge at C, Germany’s Katrina Wuest, who joined with The Netherlands’ Ghislain Fouarge (at E), Denmark’s Hans Christian Matthiesen (at H), Italy’s Vincenzo Truppa (at M) and Poland’s Wojtek Markowski (at B) in deciding their winners.

Von Bredow-Werndl took the lead with some lovely work from her 12-year-old by Gribaldi when seventh to go of the 14 starters. But her mark of 76.225 would be well short of the winning one at the end of the day.

Van der Meer squeezed her out when posting 76.350 before the Germans got seriously into their stride.  Going fifth from last, Kristina Sprehe and Desperados FRH went into the lead with 77.750 only to be immediately demoted by a brilliant performance from Herning team-mate and multiple champion Isabell Werth.

The 44-year-old double FEI World Cup Dressage champion was at her vintage best as she powered through a test full of determination and energy.  Werth always rides as if her life depends on it, but today’s effort was particularly pleasing as both she, and Madeleine Winter-Schulze’s El Santo NRW, were very definitely at ease with each other as they bounced, swung and danced to the strains of some of David Bowie’s greatest hits.  It was no surprise when the crowd went wild as they finished with a flourish.  El Santo, whose ears were pricked throughout the performance, seemed to be smiling just as widely as his rider while their fans roared their approval.

A loud hush

A loud hush descended on the arena however as Langehanenberg set off with Damon Hill.  You could hear a pin drop as they executed their movements to near-perfection, and it was clear from the start that this was a test that was going somewhere big.  The symmetry between horse and rider was spell-binding.  As Langehanenberg commented afterwards she has come to the stage with this horse where they now have a mutual understanding.  “He works with me and he wants to be good.  He tries so hard to please me – it felt so good the whole way through, I mean really good, and I really felt we had no mistake, not even a slight mistake,” she said afterwards.

The Ground Jury clearly felt very much the same as the scores went up showing colossal Artistic marks – Poland’s Wojtek Markowski awarding 90.625 and Denmark’s Hans Christian Matthiesen awarding 92.625.  Their final total score of 89.775 was a sensation.

It wasn’t an easy task for another Herning team-mate, Fabienne Lutkemeier, to withstand the wall of sound that was still reverberating around the arena when second-last to go, but she also gave a great account of herself when posting 78.400 with D’Agostino FRH. Last in however, Vilhelmson-Silfven bettered that by almost four marks to bring the competition to a close.  The Swedish rider was delighted with her mark of 82.325 which placed her third in the toughest of company and is very happy with the progress being made by the 11-year-old Don Auriello who continues to grow in confidence and ability.

“I’m really pleased with him; he has developed and matured a lot more and now I can take the power that he shows in the warm-up into the arena with me.  He’s so self-assured now, and loves the audience and the atmosphere.  That makes a big difference to the kind of performances you can produce,” she pointed out.

Vilhelmson-Silfven plans to compete at the next leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage series which takes place near her home in Stockholm in two weeks’ time.  After that, Don Auriello will be enjoying some Florida sunshine.  “We will go to the US just before Christmas,” the Swedish rider explained. “It will be much nicer for him than a cold winter in Stockholm!”

Really fantastic competition

At today’s press conference, Stuttgart Event Director, Gotthilf Riexinger, pointed out, “We saw a really fantastic competition from all of the riders; I am very happy. Congratulations to Helen Langehanenberg. Helen’s previous best was of 88.26% in Gothenburg, and today she received 89.7%. I genuinely believed she was going to get a bit over 90, but I think the judges were correct.”

Langehanenberg interrupted him, joking, “It’s good; it keeps me hungry!”

She talked about what Damon Hill has been up to since helping her to take European team gold and individual silver in Herning this summer.  “He hasn’t been doing much dressage work; he was out in the field and did a little bit of trotting and cantering; we really only started properly again three weeks ago so he’s very happy and fresh.”  The defending champion is unsure how much more her stallion will do in the near future. “The planning still has to be done for the winter months, but we will do at least one more qualifier, maybe two; I’m not sure yet,” she explained.

She continued, “I enjoyed it today, and Dami did too; the more people the better where both of us are concerned and the crowd was huge today. For the rest of the winter now we have to stay fit and healthy and keep up the work, but without doing too much.”  And when asked about her expectations for the defence of her title at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage final in Lyon, France next April, she replied simply, “I’m really looking forward to it – bring it on!”

For further information on the second leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2013/2014 Western European League series at Stuttgart, Germany on Saturday 16 November 2013, check out website www.stuttgartmasters.de, or contact Press Officer Joerg Kopfler, joerg.klopfer@in.stuttgart.de, Tel: +49 (0) 711 /9454 – 3128.

The next leg takes place at Stockholm, Sweden on Sunday 1 December 2013.  For details of the Swedish fixture, check out website www.stockholmhorseshow.com or contact Press Officer Lotta Amnestal, Email lotta.amnestal@ridsport.se, Tel +46 709 795 635.

Full result here.

Facts and Figures:

Stuttgart, Germany staged the second leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2013/2014 series.

The Ground Jury for today’s competition was: At E, G. Fouarge (NED); At H, H Matthiesen (DEN); At C, K Wuest (GER); At M, Dr V Truppa (ITA); At B, Dr W Markowski (POL).

14 horse-and-rider combinations lined out in today’s qualifying leg.

The oldest horse competing was the 15-year-old Eichendorff, ridden by Austria’s Victoria Max-Theurer.

The youngest horses were both 11 years old – Don Auriello who finished third for Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven and Vradin who placed 13th for Belgium’s Simon Missiaen.

Defending series champion and European team gold medallists, Helen Langehanenberg from Germany, recorded a Freestyle Personal Best score when posting 89.775 with the stallion, Damon Hill NRW, today.

All four of the German gold medal winning team from the Blu Hors FEI European Dressage Championships at Herning, Denmark this summer competed today, and they claimed four of the top five placings.

Quotes:

Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven (SWE) talking about her performance with Don Auriello today – “I was particularly pleased with the improvement of piaffe and passage.  We had a little hiccup in our last piaffe but in general I’m very happy.  And I’m enjoying the fact that he looks forward to going in there (the arena) now.”

Isabell Werth (GER) talking during the press conference – “Today you have three riders in front of you who are smiling! I am so happy that my horse came back. He was great to ride and it was a super atmosphere overall. It is so great for us riders to perform here and it pushes us to perform at our best – that is what makes this show so special, as well as the crowd. I am just really happy and, as you say, we just keep on going.”

Katrina Wuest, Judge at C – “It was a pleasure for us to judge – I can speak for my whole team. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to wake up from your dream and give marks – for us it was a dream.”

Stuttgart Event Director, Gotthilf Riexinger, talking about Helen Langehanenberg’s performance – “Her horse didn’t make a single mistake and made it look very easy. All the spectators are so happy and they were thrilled with all the riders.”

FEI YouTube: http://youtu.be/ulkIuVJDAmo.

Reem Acra FEI Hub http://fei.org/fei/sponsors/reem-acra-and-fei gives access to extensive information about the series.

FEI World Cup Dressage, the only worldwide series in this discipline, has entered its 28th season. The series, created in 1985, comprises four leagues: Western European, Central European, North American (including Canada) and Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Asia). Each FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier consists of a Grand Prix test, which in turn is a qualification for the Freestyle to Music competition, where league points are accumulated towards places in the Final. Judged on both technical and artistic merit, the FEI World Cup Dressage combines art, sport and partnership between horse and rider at the highest level and consistently proves a winning formula with audiences all over the world.

The complete rules, calendar, updated ranking and results are available here.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Stuttgart:

Press Officer: Joerg Klopfer
Email joerg.klopfer@in.stuttgart.de
Tel: ++49 7 11 95 54 31 28

At FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
Email: malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 133

The Reem Acra Dream Comes True at Last for Langehanenberg

L to R – runner-up Adelinde Cornelissen NED, new Reem Acra champion Helen Langehanenberg GER and Edward Gal NED who finished third. Photo: FEI/Roland Thunholm.

Gothenburg (SWE), 27 April 2013 – Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg lived up to all the promise she has shown over the last few seasons to clinch the 2013 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage title in style today with the fabulous stallion, Damon Hill. She was a lady on a mission from the outset, driven on by the huge hunger she felt after having to settle for runner-up spot at last year’s Final before missing out on individual bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games by an agonising 0.03 percentage points.

Today the 30-year-old rider pushed all that into the past, producing a breath-taking performance that catapulted her into the lead when fourth-last to go of the 17 through to the closing stages. And despite their best efforts, defending champion Adelinde Cornelissen and her Dutch colleague Edward Gal could not do better, having to settle for second and third places respectively.

Langehanenberg is the eighth German rider to take the coveted trophy in the history of the FEI World Cup Dressage series, and the first since Ulla Salzgeber and Rusty did a back-to-back double in 2001 and 2002. “It’s just a dream come true; it’s a great feeling!” she said afterwards, hardly daring to believe what she has achieved. But her success was hard-earned, as this Final was fiercely fought by some of the most polished, talented and experienced riders the sport of Dressage has ever produced.

Out in Front

It was Italy’s Valentina Truppa and Fixdesign Eremo del Castegno who were out in front at the half-way stage. The 27-year-old from Milan, who competes in the uniform of the Caribinieri and is daughter of Dressage judge Enzo Truppa, threw down one of her daring trademark performances that included one-handed piaffe for a score of 79.696. This relegated the previous competitor, Denmark’s Sidsel Johansen, to temporary runner-up spot with Schianto, who thoroughly pleased the crowd with one of his best tests of the season for a mark of 75.393.

Sweden’s Minna Telde and Santana didn’t threaten with their mark of 74.107 when next into the ring as the action resumed. And although 23-year-old Dane, Anna Kasprzak, showed lovely, balanced passage throughout a thoroughly steady test with the 14-year-old Donnperignon, her good mark of 77.857 still left Truppa out in front.  Sweden’s Patrick Kittel and Watermill Scandic HDC met a wall of sound from the spectators when entering the arena, but despite great piaffe and passage their score of 78.393 wouldn’t upset the leader or the top end of the scoreboard either. It took German veteran, Isabell Werth and her “work in progress” Don Johnson FRH to do that when raising the game with a score of 80.429 with just four more left to go.

New Standard

But Langehanenberg set a whole new standard when next in, her stallion punching out great piaffe and passage and devouring the ground with his long, loping walk as they executed their floor-plan with absolute accuracy. Any fear that the one-tempi canter changes would haunt them after their error in this movement during Thursday’s Grand Prix were dismissed by the consummate coolness of it all. Clearly this was a test that would take some beating as the scoreboard showed 88.286.

Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven could have been intimidated to find herself and Don Auriello sandwiched in between Langehanenberg and 2010 Reem Acra champion Edward Gal from The Netherlands, but instead the Swede simply rose to the occasion. Her elegant 13-year-old bay gelding showed wonderful extended trot en route to a mark of 82.661 to show that his place amongst the stars was well-deserved. Gal then followed with the “dark horse” of this Reem Acra Final, the black gelding Glock’s Undercover who some thought might just spring a surprise in the closing stages. But while the 12-year-old horse demonstrated exquisite piaffe and passage their total of 84.446 was well short of Langehanenberg’s target.

Only defending champions Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival now stood between the German and the biggest result of her career, and the Dutch rider’s big gelding was his usual flamboyant self as he strutted his way through passage, piaffe and his trademark pirouettes. The crowd held their breath as the judges took their time in posting their marks. But when 86.214 came up on the scoreboard it was clear that the hat-trick Cornelissen had been hoping for would not materialise and it was Langehanenberg holding the Reem Acra trophy aloft at the end of the day.

Trained

The German rider has trained with double Olympic gold medallist Klaus Balkenhol for the last 10 years and her back-up team also includes her parents, particularly her mother who travels to all her shows, and her husband Sebastian who steps into the coaching role in Balkenhol’s absence. She said this evening that one of the things that amazes her about her horse is his continual improvement and his self-assurance.

“He gave me so much confidence during the test today, it felt like the best test we have ever done, I was scared to do too much but he told me, “take it easy Helen, we can do this together!”

She reflected on what has happened over the last eight months or so. “After London (Olympic Games 2012) I wondered what we could do, because I thought it was already perfect, but this is my horse, I think it’s perfect and then he just does it   even better again, he is amazing! He really is something special, he can read and write!” she said.

Pleased

Cornelissen was pleased that she didn’t encounter the problems she faced during Thursday’s Grand Prix. “It was a lot better this time, no spooks; I just gave it my best shot and I’m very happy with the day. I love my new music but we are not on automatic with it yet; we are still getting used to it. In another couple of shows it will be perfect!” she said.

Gal said, “I had a great ride and I’m quite happy with him (Glock’s Undercover). He needs to get more used to the atmosphere in an arena like this, where the crowd goes right above his head. He has a lot more to learn, things that I can’t train at home, so we need to do more shows and he will get more confidence and that will help us to be even better.”

Fourth-place Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven was rightly pleased with her result. “It was an amazing feeling with the atmosphere and the audience, and I’m kind of proud of sitting up here with you guys,” she said looking over at the top three riders. “I think we did pretty well. Don Auriello is changing all the time; he is getting stronger and more mature; he is continually improving,” she added.

Super Riding

Ground Jury member, Sweden’s Gustav Svalling, pointed out that five horses got a score of over 80 percent today. “It was super riding; they are incredible athletes and I was so pleased to be judging.  It was very tight, Helen was fantastic, her horse has such a good walk and Parzival was so close. I gave Edward a 10 for piaffe and transitions; they were so soft, but the walk for his horse is not the strongest while Helen’s horse has a super walk,” he pointed out. “Before Totilas we (the judges) didn’t give 10s, but now we do,” to which Gal quickly retorted, “So you all have to be thankful to me for that!”

The mood was celebratory as the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final drew to a close. There was the sense of the time having come for Langehanenberg to shine and for the new champion it is now time to step back and enjoy her success.

During the week she was one of the many to stand and admire the fabulous dresses designed by sponsor Reem Acra that were on display. She was wondering how she might look in one of them. Perhaps, after today’s success, she might just find out….

Result: 1, Damon Hill NRW (Helen Langehanenberg) GER 88.286; 2, Jerich Parzival (Adelinde Cornelissen) NED 86.214; 3, Glock’s Undercover (Edward Gal) NED 84.446; 4, Don Auriello (Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven) SWE 82.661; 5, Don Johnson FRH (Isabell Werth) GER 80.429; 6, Fixdesign Eremo del Castegno (Valentina Truppa) ITA 79.696; 7, Watermill Scandic (Patrik Kittel) SWE 78.393; 8, Donnperignon (Anna Kasprzak) DEN 77.857; 9, Schianto (Sidsel Johansen) DEN 75.393; 10, Santana (Minna Telde) SWE 74.107. Full result here.

Facts and Figures:

17 horse-and-rider partnerships started in today’s Freestyle which brought the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2012/2013 series to a close.

Italy’s Valentina Truppa and Fixdesign Eremo del Castegno were leading at the halfway stage on a score of 79.696.

The Ground Jury positions around the arena for the Freestyle Final were : At K, Mrs Elizabeth McMullen (CAN); At E, Mrs Maria Colliander (FIN); At H, Mr Andrew Gardner (GBR); At C, Mr Gustaf Svalling (SWE); At M, Mr Gotthilf Riexinger GER; At B, Mr Jean-Michel Rudier (FRA); At f, Dr Wojtek Markowski (POL).

Today’s victory for Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW brings the German tally to eight in the 28-year history of FEI World Cup Dressage.

The Netherlands holds the record, with 12 victories in total.

It is 11 years since the last German win, recorded by Ulla Salzgeber and Rusty who registered back-to-back victories in 2001 and 2002.

All three riders on today’s podium are Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage champions.  Third-place Edward Gal held the trophy high after victory with Totilas in 2010, and runner-up Adelinde Cornelissen from The Netherlands was back-to-back winner in 2011 and 2012.

The newly-crowned Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage champion, Helen Langehanenberg from Germany is 30 years of age and is based in Havisbeck, Germany.

With the stallion, Damon Hill NRW, today’s winner Helen Langehanenberg helped Germany to team silver but finished just outside the medals, in fourth place at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Langehanenberg was runner-up at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands in 2012 and helped earn team silver at the FEI European Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 2011.

Quotes:

Helen Langehanenberg, when asked if she thinks there is room for much more improvement in the work shown by her stallion, Damon Hill NRW” – “Maybe a little, but for now I just want to enjoy this first!”

Edward Gal – “My horse can be very relaxed in training but when he comes into the arena he gets tense.”

Helen Langehanenberg – “Dame is a breeding stallion, so sometimes I take him out of work for 10 to 14 days to breed but he’s not at all difficult when he comes back to be ridden – he’s a very easy horse. He has six-year-olds on the ground now and I have three of his youngsters riding and two more waiting in my barn.”

Audio Links:

Helen Langehanenberg

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Reem_LANGEHANENBERG_Freestlye.mp3  English
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Reem_LANGEHANENBERG_Freestyle_German.mp3   German

Adelinde Cornelissen

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/FEI_adelinde_end_eng.mp3  English
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/FEI_adelinde_end_dutch.mp3

Edward Gal

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/FEI_Gal_end.mp3

Patrick Kittel

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/FEI_Kittel_end_eng.mp3  English
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/FEI_Kittel_end_swe.mp3  Swedish

Anna Kasprzak

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Fei_Kasprzak_end_dan.mp3  Danish
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Fei_Kasprzak_end_eng.mp3  English

Jacqueline Brooks

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Reem_Brooks_end.mp3

FEI World Cup Dressage, the only worldwide series in this discipline, has entered its 28th season. The series, created in 1985, comprises four leagues: Western European, Central European, North American (including Canada) and Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Asia). Each FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier consists of a Grand Prix test, which in turn is a qualification for the Freestyle to Music competition, where league points are accumulated towards places in the Final. Judged on both technical and artistic merit, the FEI World Cup Dressage combines art, sport and partnership between horse and rider at the highest level and consistently proves a winning formula with audiences all over the world.

The complete rules, calendar, updated ranking and results are available here.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Gothenburg

Mayvor Thorin
+46 31 368 43 49
mayvor.thorin@gotevent.se

Lotta Amnestal
+46 709 795635
lotta.amnestal@ridsport.se

At FEI

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 33

Langehanenberg Piles On the Pressure with Super Grand Prix Victory

Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW on their way to victory in the Grand Prix. Photo: FEI/Roland Thunholm.

Gothenburg (SWE), 25 April 2013 – Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg threw down the gauntlet when securing a convincing victory with Damon Hill NRW in the preliminary Grand Prix at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2012/2013 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden today.  The 30-year-old rider and her 13-year-old stallion have been challenging the supremacy of back-to-back double-champions Adelinde Cornelissen (NED) and her great gelding, Jerich Parzival, for some time now, and following today’s result have piled on the pressure ahead of Saturday’s Freestyle decider.

Langehanenberg had it all to do, having been drawn in the worst possible starting spot when first to go today, and there was plenty of drama as the tension got to many of the leading contenders.  But the winning pair simply rose to the occasion, producing a sparkling performance that set a target none of the rest could match.

Runner-up was The Netherlands‘ Edward Gal with Glock’s Undercover while, last into the ring, Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello finished third for the host nation.  The biggest surprise of the day was the fourth-place finish for the defending champions, whose test was severely compromised by a disastrous spooky episode as they were executing piaffe, one of their trademark strong points, across the centre line.  Parzival suddenly spun on a circle and then did it again before regaining his composure and going on to complete his test.

Fascinating Competition

It was a fascinating competition, and Canada’s Jacqueline Brooks and her charming grey gelding, D Niro, showed why they were so consistently placed on the Florida circuit over the winter months when producing a happy performance for a mark of 67.356 when second into the ring.  The 45-year-old rider might hardly have expected that this would be good enough to qualify for the top 15 who will battle it out in Saturday’s Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Freestyle Final, but it left them in 13th place at the end of a very interesting afternoon.

They were all chasing Langehanenberg’s opening score of 79.863, and Denmark’s Anna Kasprazak and Donnperignon gave a good account of themselves when, fourth to go, they were awarded 74.894.  However they were quickly elbowed out of runner-up spot by Gal and Undercover who seemed relaxed and concentrated as they built their delivery to a real crescendo for a mark of 78.465.  The steadiness of the gelding’s head, and their crisp, clean transitions gave an air of real control, but the 43-year-old rider admitted afterwards that he didn’t have the easiest of rides.  “Today he (Glock’s Undercover) was more tense than he was in Den Bosch.  He saw something he didn’t see this morning, but I’m very happy with him and he just kept getting better and better during his test.  He’s a great horse to ride because he feels like he wants to do it for you,” the 2011 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage champion said.

Reduced

Earlier in the morning, the Grand Prix start-list was reduced to 17 when Germany’s Kristina Sprehe withdrew her 12-year-old stallion, Desperados FRH, due to lameness in a foreleg. The 26-year-old rider, who helped her country to take team silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games, noticed the horse was unsound and, at an early morning press conference, German coach, Monica Theodorescu, explained that Desperados was withdrawn after examination by the team veterinarian.

That left just eight in the first tranche of riders, and when Denmark’s Sidsel Johansen and Schianto’s 69.878 was followed by 69.498 from Switzerland’s Marcela Krinke Susmelj and Smeyers Molberg there were just two left to run before the half-way break.

It all fell apart for Marlies van Baalen whose chestnut gelding, Miciano, became increasingly agitated and uncooperative, but the young Dutch rider showed just what she’s made of when riding through it all to finish with a disappointing score of 63.070 but with the satisfaction that she had completed the test.  Last in before the interval, Canada’s Jaimey Irwin and Lindor’s Finest put 61.474 on the board.

Led the Way

Italy’s Valentina Truppa and Fixdesign Eremo del Castegno led the way in the second half with a score of 71.778 and Russia’s Tatiana Dorofeeva followed with a mark of 64.286 from Khorovod while Sweden’s Minna Telde and Santana posted 72.097 to ensure a place in the final 15.  Norway’s Lillann Jebsen and Pro-Set scored 68.146 despite losing their way, but the home crowd gasped when Patrik Kittel’s performance with Watermill Scandic HBC was quickly spoiled by a double-take in the corner of the arena as they executed their first extended trot and, once unnerved, the chestnut stallion never settled to his work for a score of 69.559 which would leave them in 10th place in the final analysis.

With just four left to go, the Ukraine’s Inna Logutenkova and her colossal gelding Vian Stallone set sail for a mark of 66.702 before Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival took their turn.  Second-last into the ring, Isabell Werth’s Don Johnson FRH also did a double-take early in their test, but the German star who has collected 29 shiny medals at Olympic, World and European Championship level throughout her spectacular career, showed the benefit of her extensive experience by simply riding with even greater determination for a good result of 75.015 that placed them temporarily fourth before Sweden’s Vilhemson-Silfven and Don Auriello relegated them to fifth as the competition drew to a close.

Very Happy

Langehanenberg admitted that she would have preferred to start later in the competition “but it is how it is and you have to try your best, and I am very happy with my ride,” she said, immediately after coming out of the ring.  “I had a brilliant feeling, although it was a bit of a pity with the ‘ones’ (the one-time canter changes), it was a bit of a mistake and it was really expensive but, ok, better luck next time and the rest was really good!” she pointed out afterwards.

Even this most unassuming of ladies couldn’t help but admit today however that she is daring to hope the Reem Acra title could be within her grasp.  “I can’t really explain it but the feeling of being together with my horse just gets better every time we go into the arena now.  Something happens as soon as we start our test, and it gives me the confidence to go in and really give it everything I’ve got! He is really in front of me, and free, and working for me,” she said after her victory.

“I love to ride the Freestyle; it is my favourite so I am really looking forward to Saturday,” she added. Damon Hill NRW can look forward to a fairly relaxed day tomorrow. “We will just work on the ‘ones’; we won’t do too much so I can keep him happy and fresh,” Langehanenberg said.  Clearly she and her stallion are now the ones they all have to beat.

The Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2012/2013 Freestyle will take place at 13.20 local time.  Don’t miss a piaffe or a pirouette – watch all the excitement on www.feitv.org.

Result: 1, Damon Hill NRW (Helen Langehanenberg) GER 79.863; 2, Glock’s Undercover (Edward Gal) NED 78.465; 3, Don Auriello (Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven) SWE 77.432; 4, Jerich Parzival (Adelinde Cornelissen) NED 75.410; 5, Don Johnson FRH (Isabell Werth) GER 75.015; 6, Donnperignon (Anna Kasprzak) DEN 74.894; 7, Santana (Minna Telde) SWE 72.097; 8, Fixdesign Eremo del Castegno (Valentina Truppa) ITA 71.778; 9, Schianto (Sidsel Johansen) DEN 69.878; 10, Watermill Scandic HBC (Patrik Kittel) SWE.  Full result here: http://results.scgvisual.com/2013/goteborg/r11.html.

Facts and Figures:

17 horse-and-rider combinations started in today’s Grand Prix.

Three stallions and 14 geldings competed in today’s competition.

The youngest horse in today’s Grand Prix was third-placed 10-year-old Don Auriello, ridden by Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven.

The oldest horses were all 16 years of age – Jerich Parzival (Adelinde Cornelissen, NED), Pro-Set (Lillann Jebsen, NOR) and Lindor’s Finest (Jaimey Irwin, CAN).

Saturday’s Freestyle competition will decide the winner of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2012/2103 title.

Quotes:

Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven SWE, when asked about her preparation for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final – “I competed my horses in Florida until the end of March.  I brought Don Auriello home six weeks ago to get him adjusted and ready to come here.”

Jean Michel Roudier, Judge at C: “This was a very open Grand Prix with wonderful horses and riders, and we (the judges) really enjoyed judging it.”

Audio Links:

Helen Langehanenberg English Version, immediately after completing her test:

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/FEI_langehanenberg_day1_eng.mp3  English

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Fei_langehanenberg_ger.mp3  German

Edward Gal

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/FEI_Gal_eng_day1.mp3 English

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/FEI_Gal_dutch_day1.mp3  Dutch

Inna Logutenkova

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Reem_logutenkova_ukr_rus.mp3  in Ukrainian and Russian

Adelinde Cornelissen

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Reem_CORNELISSON_Day1_DUTCH.mp3 Dutch

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Reem_CORNELISSEN_Day1.mp3 English

Helen Langehanenberg reaction in German post event once she knew she had one the Grand Prix

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Reem_LANG_post.mp3

Anna Kasprzak

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Reem_KASPRZAK_Day1.mp3 English

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Reem_KASPRZAK_Day1_DANISH.mp3 Danish

Isabel Werth

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Reem_werth_day1_eng.mp3 English

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Reem_werth_ger_day2.mp3 German

FEI World Cup Dressage, the only worldwide series in this discipline, has entered its 28th season. The series, created in 1985, comprises four leagues: Western European, Central European, North American (including Canada) and Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Asia). Each FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier consists of a Grand Prix test, which in turn is a qualification for the Freestyle to Music competition, where league points are accumulated towards places in the Final. Judged on both technical and artistic merit, the FEI World Cup Dressage combines art, sport and partnership between horse and rider at the highest level and consistently proves a winning formula with audiences all over the world.

The complete rules, calendar, updated ranking and results are available here.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Gothenburg

Mayvor Thorin
+46 31 368 43 49
mayvor.thorin@gotevent.se

Lotta Amnestal
+46 709 795635
lotta.amnestal@ridsport.se

At FEI

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 33

Langehanenberg Makes It Two-in-a-Row at Neumuenster

Neumuenster (GER), 17 February 2013 – In a double of doubles, Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW today recorded a back-to-back victory in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League 2012/2013 series when heading the line-up on home turf at Neumuenster, Germany where the pair also reigned supreme last season.

The 30-year-old rider and her 13-year-old stallion produced a performance of such quality that the result was in no doubt once they posted their score of 87.800.  At Amsterdam in The Netherlands four weeks ago, they beat defending double-champions Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival in Freestyle for the very first time. And today the dynamic German duo showed even greater confidence and composure as they strutted to success in front of their home crowd.

Cornelissen’s grip on the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage title looks set to be seriously challenged when the series Final takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden at the end of April.  “When we go to the Final we will give our very, very best, and if we keep this form it will be really good sport and very interesting!” Langehanenberg said today.

Top Three Places

Of the 15 riders from eight nations, Germany fielded four today and captured all of the top three places. Kristina Sprehe, one of the new wave of exciting younger riders emerging into the sport for Germany and a member of the London 2012 Olympic team silver medal side, slotted into second with Desperados FRH while the veteran and former FEI World Cup Dressage champion, Isabell Werth, finished third with Don Johnson FRH.

Danish riders claimed fourth and fifth places, and once again Sidsel Johansen and Schianto won the hearts of the spectators with another joyous and pleasing performance. And, for the second time this season, the crowd expressed their disappointment at the score awarded to the Danish duo.  But judges Katrina Wuest (GER), Dr Evi Eisenhardt (GER), Ghislain Fouarge (NED), Leif Tornblad (DEN) and Marietta Almasy (FRA) were very much in agreement as Johansen’s 72.660 left them in fifth place.

Today’s result has rocketed Sprehe up to the top of the leaderboard, with, however, just a single-point advantage over long-time leader Valentina Truppa from Italy going into the last qualifying leg at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands in four weeks’ time. Langehanenberg lies third ahead of Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven in fourth and Dutchman Edward Gal in fifth place.

Today’s result also mirrored that of yesterday’s Grand Prix in which Damon Hill’s score of 83.310 left Langehanenberg almost five full marks ahead of Desperados and Sprehe while Don Johnson and Werth claimed third.

Freestyle

As today’s Freestyle got underway, it was Finland’s Terhi Stegars and the handsome Trakehner, Axis TSF, who were the first to score over 70 per cent when achieving 71.150, and then The Netherlands’ Marlie von Baalen and BMC Miciano raised the bar with a score of 73.850. However it was the latter’s Dutch counterpart, Patrick van der Meer, who held the clear lead before the judging break with a lovely performance from the 11-year-old Uzzo that included elegant piaffe and passage for a mark of 76.425 – a personal-best Freestyle score for this talented partnership.

Third to go of the final group however, Langehanenberg and Damon Hill were stunning from start to finish, the stallion’s big, clean and rhythmic passage, his boldness in canter and his stillness in piaffe, their steadiness, fluency and togetherness and their overall air of absolute confidence saw them rewarded with artistic marks of 94.000 per cent by Wuest, 92.000 from both Eisenhardt and Fouarge, 91.000 per cent from Almasy and 86.000 from Tornblad.  The crowd erupted with delight and appreciation as 87.800 went up on the scoreboard.

Now it was simply a matter of who could come closest, and multiple champion, 43-year-old Isabell Werth, steered Don Johnson to a score of 83.000 before 23-year-old Anna Kasprzak launched into her floor plan that began with canterwork and earned her a mark of 81.075 with Donnperignon.

The remaining Danish partnership of Johansen and Schianto were second-last to go, and the 14-year-old horse, who always looks as if he is thoroughly enjoying himself in the ring, showed tremendous elevation in passage and piaffe, power and courage in extended canter and a general joyousness that has proven particularly infectious this season. Their mark of 80.050 didn’t please the onlookers, but Johansen’s ear-to-ear grin showed that she knew they had once again produced a crowd-pleasing effort.

Sprehe was last into the ring, and the 26-year-old rider could have been forgiven for a little uneasiness as the crowd’s reaction to Johansen’s score seemed to disturb the concentration of her horse at the very start.  But the pure quality of his movement was sufficient to guarantee a strong result for Desperados who recovered to demonstrate strong piaffe and piaffe/pirouette on their way to clinching runner-up spot with 84.425 per cent.

Pivotal

For Langehanenberg, the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage series has been pivotal.  “It’s true, I have grown up in this series; it has helped me to be better in every way!” said the rider who first came to real prominence during the 2010/2011 season. While well-known on the national circuit prior to that, she only really began to show her colossal potential at international level throughout the winter of 2010 and, over the two subsequent seasons, she has blossomed into a super-star of the sport. Runner-up behind Cornelissen at last year’s Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final, she looks well set to oust her biggest rival this time around if all goes to plan.

But bragging and boasting is not her style. So when asked today if she thought she could leave Cornelissen in her wake when it comes to the Final in Gothenburg later in the spring, Langehanenberg said with some stoicism, “We all have so many hopes and so many dreams but they don’t always come true.  My dreams and my aims have always been clear, but I don’t let them put pressure on myself or on my horse.  You just never know how it will work out. We stay focused and we work hard to achieve our goals, I am just very happy that we are succeeding right now,” she pointed out.

That focus is on the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2012/2013 title. Today she was unsure if she would bring out her stallion at ‘s-Hertogenbosch next month. “We will now make a plan for how to use the time in between now and the Final.  I’m not sure yet exactly what we will do; we will make a decision next week,” she explained.  One way or another, she looks set to provide formidable opposition to the rest of the world-class line-up as the series Final begins to unfold….

For further information on the seventh leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2012/2013 series in Neumunster (GER) check out website http://pst-marketing.de/index.php/home-vr-classics.html or contact Press Officer Andreas Kerstan Email andreas.kerstan@comtainment.de, Tel +49 4307 827973, +49 3416 786 012. The next leg, and last qualifier in the Western European League, takes place at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands on Saturday 16 March 2013.  For details of the Dutch fixture go to website http://www.indoorbrabant.com/en/ or contact Press Officer Denise van der Net, Email denisene@xs4all.net, Tel +31 6270 31674.

Result: 1, Damon Hill NRW (Helen Langehanenberg) GER 87.800; 2, Desperados FRH (Kristina Sprehe) GER 84.425; 3, Don Johnson FRH (Isabell Werth) GER 83.000; 4, Donnperignon (Anna Kasprzak) DEN 81.075; 5, Schianto (Sidsel Johansen) DEN 80.050; 6, Uzzo (Patrick van der Meer) NED 76.425; 7, Smeyers Molberg (Marcela Krinke-Susmelj) SUI 73.875; 8, BMC Miciano (Marlies van Baalen) NED 73.850; 9. Biggles (Kristian von Krusenstierna) SWE 73.850; 10, Rubins Royal (Anabel Balkenhol) GER 72.900; 11, Axis TSF (Terhi Stegars) FIN) 71.150; 12, Heimliche Liebe (Emma Kanerva) FIN 71.000; 13, HP Frontier (Sarah Millis) GBR 70.000; 14, Orion (Pia Fortmueller) CAN 69.500; 15, Charming Boy (Sofie Lexner) SWE 67.625.

Full results here.

Facts and Figures:

The penultimate qualifying leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League 2012/2013 series was staged today at the famous Holstenhalle in Neumuenster in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
The winners, Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and the stallion Damon Hill NRW, also won the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier at the same venue last season.
15 riders from eight nations – Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Great Britain and Canada – competed in today’s Freestyle.
Runner-up spot went to Germany’s Kristina Sprehe who subsequently moved into pole position on the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League leader board.
Sprehe holds a slender one-point advantage over long-time league leader Valentina Truppa from Italy.
The last qualifying leg in the Western European League series will take place at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands on 16 March 2013.
The series final takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden 24-28 April 2013.

Quotes:

Helen Langehanenberg – “He [Damon Hill NRW] really has settled everywhere – in the preparation, in the arena and, as I think I have said many times before, it is such a pleasure to ride him!”

Helen Langehanenberg, when asked about how difficult it was to ride in the Holstenhalle in Neumuenster in which the dressage arena is a very tight fit – “[The crowd] is very close to the arena and this makes it extra special.  The spectators are great, and they celebrate every rider even if their test is not so good.  We have lots of standing ovations here!”

Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2012/2013 – Standings after Round 7 at Neumuenster (GER):

1.    Kristina Sprehe GER                –    68
2.    Valentina Truppa ITA                –    67
3.    Helen Langehanenberg GER            –    66
4.    Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven SWE            –    63
5.    Edward Gal NED                    –    55
6.    Patrick Kittel SWE                    –    50
6.    Marcela Krinke Susmelj SUI            –    50
8.    Minna Telde SWE)                    –    49
8.    Isabell Werth GER                    –    49
10.    Sidsel Johansen DEN                –    46
11.    Anna Kasprzak DEN                –    43
12.    Marlies van Baalen NED                –    36
13.    Imke Schellekens-Bartels NED            –    36
14.    Pia Fortmueller CAN                –    31
15.    Patrick van der Meer NED                –    30
16.    Anabel Balkenhol GER                –    29
17.    Kristian von Krusenstierna SWE            –    27
18.    Lyndal Oatley AUS                     –    23
18.    Silvia Rizzo ITA                    –    23
20.    Karin Kosak AUT                    –    22

FEI World Cup Dressage, the only worldwide series in this discipline, has entered its 28th season. The series, created in 1985, comprises four leagues: Western European, Central European, North American (including Canada) and Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Asia). Each FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier consists of a Grand Prix test, which in turn is a qualification for the Freestyle to music competition, where league points are accumulated towards places in the Final. Judged on both technical and artistic merit, the FEI World Cup Dressage combines art, sport and partnership between horse and rider at the highest level and consistently proves a winning formula with audiences all over the world.

The complete rules, calendar, updated ranking and results are available here.

The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), founded in 1921, is the international body governing equestrian sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and includes 133 National Federations. Equestrian sport has been on the Olympic programme since 1912 with three disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. In 2012 equestrian sport will celebrate its centenary as an Olympic sport. It is one of the very few sports in which men and women compete on equal terms. It is also the only sport which involves two athletes – horse and rider. The FEI has relentlessly concerned itself with the welfare of the horse, which is paramount and must never be subordinated to competitive or commercial influences.

FEI YouTube: http://youtu.be/pf7Tsq53Bdg.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:
At Neumuenster
Press Officer: Andreas Kerstan
Email: andreas.kerstan@comtainment.de
Tel: +49 430 7827973/ 49 341 6786 012

At FEI
Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
Email: grania.willis@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 142

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 33

Watershed Win for Langehanenberg as She Pips Double-Champion Cornelissen in Amsterdam

Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW receiving the Reem Acra Trophy from Heather Schmidt of Reem Acra. Photo: FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst

Amsterdam (NED), 19 January 2013 – Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW pipped defending double-champions Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival at the sixth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League in Amsterdam (NED) today. There were eight Dutch competitors amongst the start-list of 15, but Germany claimed two of the top-three placings when Isabell Werth and Don Johnson slotted into third ahead of Italy’s Valentina Truppa and Fixdesign Eremo del Castegno in fourth.

Langehanenberg’s form in recent months had suggested that it would not be long before she and her lovely stallion would find the key to finishing ahead of the Dutch duo who have dominated the prestigious indoor series over the last few years.  At last year’s Final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NED) where Cornelissen came out on top for the second successive season, Ground Jury President, Great Britain’s Stephen Clarke, told the German rider that she had only a little more polish to find in order to improve from runner-up position, and Langehanenberg has worked hard to bridge that gap ever since.

Continue reading Watershed Win for Langehanenberg as She Pips Double-Champion Cornelissen in Amsterdam

Langehanenberg and Damon Hill Secure Impressive Victory at Stuttgart

FEI Director of Dressage, Trond Asmyr, presents the Reem Acra Trophy to Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg. Photo: FEI/Karl-Heinz Freiler.

Stuttgart (GER), 17 November 2012 – Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW recorded an impressive victory in the third leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League series at Stuttgart, Germany today where the host nation dominated the line-up.

With a smooth Freestyle performance that oozed confidence and teamwork, the winning partnership finished more than four full marks ahead of German counterparts Kristina Sprehe and Desperados FRH in second place.  And it was a big day for Italy’s Valentina Truppa.  She registered runner-up spot at the previous leg in Lyon, France two weeks ago, but although she had to settle for third with Eremo del Castegno this time around, she has risen to the top of the Western European League table with a significant margin of advantage after today’s result.

The placings of the top three mirrored those of yesterday’s Grand Prix in which Langehanenberg’s score of 82.766 was a personal best.  But fourth place today went to Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven thanks to a much-improved effort with Don Auriello who inched The Netherlands‘ Imke Schellekens-Bartels and the gigantic black gelding, Toots, down to fifth.

Continue reading Langehanenberg and Damon Hill Secure Impressive Victory at Stuttgart

Langehanenberg Leads German Whitewash at Neumunster

Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW won the penultimate qualifying leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League series at Neumunster. Photo: FEI/Thomas Hellmann.

Neumunster (GER), 19 February 2012 – Helen Langehanenberg had the biggest smile of all as she headed a German whitewash at the eighth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2011/2012 Western European League series at Neumunster, Germany today.  Host nation riders filled five of the top six places, led by the 29-year-old from Havixbek and her popular stallion, Damon Hill NRW, while yesterday’s Grand Prix winners, Isabell Werth and El Santo NRW, had to settle for runner-up spot this time out.

One of the biggest cheers of the morning was reserved for third-placed Uta Graf and her very handsome stallion Le Noir who really rose to the occasion in the intense atmosphere that undermined many of the other contenders, while Dorothee Schneider and the mare, Diva Royal, slotted into fourth.

Last of the 15 horse-and-rider combinations into the arena, it was Denmark’s Lone Jorgensen and FBW De Vito who broke the German stranglehold at the top end of the scoreboard when lining up fifth ahead of Germany’s double Olympic team gold medallist Nadine Capellman riding Girasol.

Continue reading Langehanenberg Leads German Whitewash at Neumunster