Helen Langehanenberg Reported by Magazine to Have Broken Off Talks to Continue Riding Damon Hill

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Helen Langehanenberg on Damon Hill. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Helen Langehanenberg on Damon Hill. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Nov. 14, 2014

Helen Langehanenberg and not the owners broke off negtiations for her to continue riding Damon Hill NRW, according to the lawyer for the owners as reported in the online magazine Ludwigs Pferdewelten.

The magazine said its report was based on a letter it had seen that was sent by Helen’s lawyer to Christian Becks instructing the owner to pick up the 14-year-old stallion.

Since the breakup, she has given interviews in which she was quoted as being broken hearted over the loss of the ride on the horse she described as her “best friend.”

The German Olympic Committee (DOKR) said in a statement on Nov. 10 when the breakup was announced that it was “surprised and disappointed” by the owner’s decision to end negotiations for Helen to continue riding the horse through the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Helen and Damon Hill have been Germany’s top combination, world No. 2 without break since July, 2013, and won team silver at the 2012 Olympics in London, 2014 World Games team gold and two individual silvers, the World Cup title in 2013 as well as 2013 European Championship gold and silver.

Ingrid Klimke rode Damon Hill to the World Six Year Old Championship in 2006 and trained the horse to Grand Prix, competing in one show in 2009. Helen took over the ride in 2010.

The ownership family have come under widespread criticism over the issue.

According to the magazine, Helen’s lawyer who had power of attorney (able to make decisions on her behalf) in “all economic and legal matter” wrote a letter to the Becks family.

Helen, the letter reportedly said, “wants to end cooperation with you, in particular, the training and the competition of your stallion Damon Hill. We believe that this is the right measure at present for all parties involved and also for the horse…

“They will be glad to explain this decision orally.

“We ask, politely, in the next few days to pick up your horse and to return the automatic door opener…”