Interview with Helen LangehanenbergJun 27th, 2012 | By bk | Category: INTERNATIONAL NEWS
27 June 2012
The dressage rider Helen Langehanenberg is the woman of the moment. Second in the World Cup, gold at the German Championships and top favourite to win the World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen. We talked to the 30-year-old equestrian star a week before the dressage competitions begin at the traditional Soers showground in Aachen.
You have achieved incredible victories over the last few months. Have you spent more time celebrating than training recently?
Of course I also celebrated a bit too, especially after my victory at the German Championships in Balve. However, I quickly got back to normality and have been training hard – after all there are quite a few important competitions coming up, like the CHIO in Aachen for instance.
What is it like being the favourite?
I don’t spend time worrying about whether I am one of the favourites or not. I prefer to concentrate on my sport. I want to make as few mistakes as possible and ride as well as I can. Whether I am considered to be a favourite or not doesn’t interest me.
Don’t you feel any pressure?
Of course I have noticed that “Dami“ and I have been attracting more attention than usual lately, especially as far as the media is considered. Which is very nice, but it doesn’t change the fact that I train hard. The new situation doesn’t put me under pressure. We will simply ride like we always do – totally relaxed – and we enjoy ourselves.
Damon Hill has been at your stables since 2010, what makes this horse so special?
Dami is a world-class horse. He knows exactly what is going on. He is well-natured, very attached to people, he thinks ahead and always strives to put in a top performance. I always notice that just before I enter the dressage arena. I get the feeling he grows taller and prouder with every step he takes. Dami is a horse that really enjoys the dressage sport.
The dressage sport has changed radically over the last few years. How do you assess the current situation?
The sport was dominated by the duel between Isabell Werth and Anky van Grunsven for many years. What’s more, Germany held the exclusive rights for team gold. I am delighted that in the meantime other countries such as England and of course the Netherlands are now performing at absolute world-class level and that dressage has become so popular in recent years. This is good for us, but it is also very good for the many talented aspiring young riders, because it offers them more opportunities in their sporting careers.
What is your goal at the CHIO Aachen 2012?
I want to ride as well as possible and make very few mistakes. I am making my debut on the German team, which I am particularly looking forward to, because our current team is fantastic, we get on exceptionally well together – and in line with the old prejudice of us dressage riders being arrogant – we are going to beat everyone hands down without any real great effort (she laughs). No seriously: Riding in Aachen, in this stadium in front of this wonderful crowd, is something extremely special.
Source: CHIO Aachen
« back to the news overview INTERNATIONAL NEWS
« back to the news overview PORTUGUESE NEWS