Helen Langehanenberg with a tear in her eye rides to record score: Damon Hill NRW dances in World Cup freestyle

In posting the best ever score in Stuttgart’s Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle of 89.775 per cent, Helen Langehanenberg, the team silver medal winner at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the recent team European champion in Herning, secured victory in the qualifying class for the Reem Acra FEI World CupTM Dressage presented by NÜRNBERGER VERSICHERUNGSGRUPPE.

The 31-year old German exceeded not only the previous record set by Dutchman Edward Gal who rode Totilas to 87.800 per cent in 2009 but she improved her own personal best. “At the end of my ride I had a tear in my eye. I had the best feeling ever,” she said. In front of 8,000 enthusiastic spectators, the 13-year old Damon Hill NRW, which was bred in Westphalia, “danced” to the win on Saturday afternoon at the 29th International STUTTGART GERMAN MASTERS Horse Show.

Behind Helen Langehanenberg in second was the multiple Olympic champion Isabell Werth who was given 83.125 points for her performance on her 12-year-old gelding El Santo NRW. “I rode a freestyle with a high degree of difficulty and only made a small mistake. I’m very proud,” she said afterwards. She also praised the Stuttgart audience saying: “There was a super atmosphere in the arena and it is great for us to perform in front of them. It really pushes us.”

Third place went to the Swede Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven (82.325) on Don Auriello. Also pleased with her display, she said, “My horse is developing a lot and I had a super feeling on him.”

Chief judge Katrina Wüst (Germany) was full of praise after the class: “All three riders and their horses have improved. It was a pleasure for us to judge. The only pity is that one has to wake up from a dream and give marks.”