Helen Langehanenberg Back Just Like Before in First Competition Since Baby, on Germany’s Nations Cup Team at Aachen CDIO5*

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Helen Langehanenberg on Damsey FRH after their first competition ride 29 days after giving birth to a daughter. The duo performed in the CDIO5* Nations Cup as if they had never taken a break of five months. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

AACHEN, Germany, July 19, 2018–Helen Langehanenberg, 29 days after giving birth to a daughter, competed for the first time Thursday, riding Damsey FRH to the top three in the World Equestrian Festival Nations Cup Grand Prix.

The German team Olympian and world championship rider on the 16-year-old Hanoverian stallion received thunderous applause after the ride that was awarded 77.034 per cent that placed the duo at the top of the leaderboard midway through the Grand Prix and third at the end.

“I thought during the test, concentrate, you’re done when you’re done,” she told dressage-news.com “I was so proud of him, how he did, how he fought for this. Absolutely amazing!”

Helen stopped riding exactly five months ago. She took no credit for the return, giving it her rider who kept the stallion fit, another rider who worked her other horses and her groom.

“My team did a good job, ” she said of the stallion that is owned by Louise Leatherdale of Long Lake, Minnesota and Susanne Meyer. “You only see me the five minutes in there. Without my team it’s not possible.”

She said that the first two days she was back on Damsey 3 1/2 weeks ago, “feeling the first steps I felt I might fall off. No muscles were left. By the third day I felt like, ‘Now I can start riding’.”

Helen Langehanenberg on Damsey FRH in their first competition in five months and four weeks after giving birth to her daughter placed third in the Aachen CDIO5* Nations Cup Grand Prix. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

But the ride Thursday appeared almost flawless, a partnership she hoped to create when she first start riding Damsey 2 1/2 years ago.

Taking over from another rider was hard work initially–“we had to find our way together.”

“It’s not from the first second you sit on a horse and it works,” said the 36-year-old rider who developed Suppenkasper that was bought last year as a furue American team prospect for Steffen Peters.

“Today, the feeling was like sitting and telling him what he should do and he did it. That felt great.

“An amazing connection. It was, absolutely like that. We really worked for that during the last two years.

“After Gothenbrg (2017 European Championships in Sweden where they placed fourth in the Grand Prix) I had the same feeling. You never know after a break how you’re going to come back–is he supple, is he strong enough…

“I think he is.”