Equestrianism - Langehanenberg underlines credentials in Stuttgart

Helen Langehanenberg won the third leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League series in Stuttgart.

Equestrianism - Langehanenberg underlines credentials in Stuttgart

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Helen Langehanenberg (Karl-Heinz Frieler/FEI)

At the age of 30, Langehanenberg is a relative junior in a sport where experience is such an asset.

But just like her German compatriot Kristina Sprehe, 26, her Dutch rival Adelinde Cornelissen, 33, and British champion Charlotte Dujardin, 26, she is proving that age is not necessarily an indicator of value.

Langehanenberg started riding ponies at the age of 10, and to her it was "immediately clear" that horse riding was her life.

She first practised eventing at German champion Ingrid Klimke’s stables before turning towards dressage at the highest level in 2006.

Three years later, she finished fifth in the World Cup final in Frankfurt atop Responsible Old and was selected as a reservist for the German Olympic team.

From there, she kept on improving, with a second place finish in the World Cup final in 2001, victory in the Freestyle Grand Prix in Aachen in 2012 and a personal record in Freestyle of 85.150 per cent.

Deservedly, she was selected for the London Olympics, where she witnessed the coronation of the British team.

She managed to clinch team silver, but had to content herself with fourth in the individual placings, 0.036 per cent away from the podium.

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