Visiting Helen Langehanenberg
Something very, very, very special!
A smile appears on her face, when she talks about the CHIO Aachen. About the many emotional moments that she has experienced at the Soers. Helen Langehanenberg has already succeeded in having her name eternalised as winner of the Deutsche Bank Prize twice. The dressage rider will be closely linked with the World Equestrian Festival for ever.
However, this theme only played a minor role on this sunny morning in Billerbeck, near Munster, when we paid the 37-year-old a visit at her yard. What is it like living here as an athlete, entrepreneur and mother of two? And more to the point, how does she fit it all in? And there it is again, that smile, which ultimately turns into a laugh. “I ask myself that sometimes too.”
After a short training session and a tour around the stables, Helen Langehanenberg takes time for a lengthy interview. The only prerequisite: we have to be finished by 1 p.m. Because that is when she has to pick the children up from kindergarten.
Photos: Arnd Bronkhorst
She recounted that she must have been around the same age as her elder daughter, when she sat on a horse for the first time herself, but she could no longer remember exactly. Back then her father had borrowed a pony and they had set off on a hack through the woods. “Perhaps that little outing was what started it all off.” The smile simply doesn’t want to leave her face any more.
Helen Langehanenberg only becomes pensive once she starts talking about the CHIO Aachen 2019. Not everything went to plan. 18th place in the Prize of Family Tesch. 11th place in the Meggle Prize. The ambitious rider from Munster had no doubt had totally different expectations. “We are both only living beings and it is inevitably part of the success that one also experiences days like that. They are not nice and nobody wants to experience them, but everyone who competes at top level has them,” she said without a trace of bitterness or disappointment. And before you know it she is smiling again.