Gothenburg, Sweden – April 15, 2019 – Leatherdale Farms‘ Hanoverian stallion, Damsey FRH, won the bronze at the 2019 FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final after his performance with German Olympian Helen Langehanenberg. The 17-year-old Hanoverian stallion (Dressage Royal-Ria Grande, Ritual) topped the qualification list for the Western European League this year and their personal best performance of 86.571 percent in Gothenburg, Sweden, solidified their place as one of the world’s top dressage combinations.
„I am absolutely proud – Damsey is a very special horse and I am proud that he did this today,“ Langehanenberg said. „He has performed super the whole winter season for me. I am so thankful to Louise [Leatherdale] that I can ride him and that we can do this together and have this experience. It makes me very grateful and proud that I got this horse as a 14-year-old and every year he has felt younger and younger.“
On the first day of competition at the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final, Langehanenberg and Damsey placed fifth with a 76.957 percent. However, the following day in the Grand Prix Freestyle, Damsey wowed the judges with his expressive freestyle. Their choreography had a 10-point degree of difficulty score and they brought the house down in their final centerline, where Damsey FRH found a new gear in his extended trot heading straight for the judge’s stand. They rounded out the podium with their fellow German Isabell Werth winning the title and Laura Graves from the USA placing second.
„I have always believed in this horse,“ Langehanenberg said. „I have a very strong relationship with him and he is an absolutely special character. I have him on my side and to end up here, third, with a personal best was amazing. He was so energetic. It is great to see that he is so fresh and he loves to do this. I had a little tear in my eye up there already.
„I went in and I said, ‚Enjoy, just enjoy. Do it for you and for Damsey,'“ Langehanenberg said. „We did this for us and we enjoyed it. I think this was the best we can do and it worked!“
Langehanenberg won the 2013 FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final title aboard Damon Hill, and in 2016 she secured the ride on Damsey FRH. Currently ranked sixth on the FEI Dressage World Ranking list, the duo has had their eyes set on qualifying for Sweden’s final this year, since Langehanenberg was on maternity leave and unable to compete at the 2018 championship in Paris, France.
Beginning their qualifying season in fall 2018, Langehanenberg and Damsey FRH won the Grand Prix in Herning, Denmark, and placed second in the Grand Prix Freestyle with an 81.40 percent. A few weeks later, they continued racking up qualifying points after their performances in Germany and Belgium. In the final leg of the Western European League in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, Langehanenberg and Damsey FRH earned a 84.875 percent in the Grand Prix Freestyle.
„To be the owner of a fabulous stallion such as Damsey FRH is such a treat!“ Louise Leatherdale said. „To have watched he and Helen grow together to become a true team has been remarkable and I was thrilled to cheer them on in person at the Scandinavium!“