Helen Langehanenberg and Leatherdale Farms' Damsey FRH Break Top Ten on FEI World Individual Dressage Ranking List

Münster, Germany - Jan. 15, 2018 - After impressive CDI performances this fall, Leatherdale Farms' Hanoverian stallion, Damsey FRH, and Olympian Helen Langehanenberg have moved up to the ninth spot on the FEI World Individual Dressage Ranking list, announced on Jan. 2 by the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI). 

"It is really quite amazing to me that we are now ranked ninth in the world!" Langehanenberg said. "I always believed in Damsey. He's an absolutely special horse for me and I love him. I'm very thankful that Louise [Leatherdale] and Susanne [Meyer] have allowed me the opportunity to ride him. 

"I have had many horses, but I think the team gold medal with Damsey at the European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, in August was really special for me," Langehanenberg continued. "Honestly, I am very proud of him. It's not always normal that you get a 14-year-old stallion and start a career like this. He feels really young and strong in his work. He is the whole package."  

Helen Langehanenberg and Damsey FRH. Photo by Elena Zobova.

Helen Langehanenberg and Damsey FRH. Photo by Elena Zobova.

In November, the pair had a stellar performance at the CDI-W in Stuttgart, Germany, where they received a 76.060 percent in the Grand Prix and second place as well as third place in the Grand Prix Freestyle with a 79.615 percent. The duo headed to Stockholm, Sweden, next to compete in the CDI5* in December and placed fourth in the Grand Prix with a 77.76 percent. They improved in the Grand Prix Freestyle and received an impressive score of 82.665 percent for third place. 

"He had no weakness in Stockholm - he had a super walk, a super trot and a super canter," Langehanenberg said. "He can do every moment for high scores. He was so fresh and easy to ride. He was light off the aids and focused in competition mode. If he wants to compete, he has no weaknesses. He showed us what he can do.

"When we competed in Stuttgart, Damsey was really hot, maybe too hot in the end, but I loved it!" Langehanenberg exclaimed. "He was so funny, fresh and happy to be at a show again. To get these improvements and have him so hot and fresh at these last two shows gives me an amazing feeling. I was proud that I got him going that much. He really fights for us." 

Most recently, Langehanenberg and Damsey FRH swept the CDN Münster K+K Cup on Jan. 12-14 in Germany. They earned their highest Grand Prix score to date to win the Grand Prix with a 78.08 percent and they won the Grand Prix Special with an impressive score of 79.745 percent. 

With a standout year in 2017 and a great start of the 2018 season, Langehanenberg looks forward to competing in more World Cup qualifying shows though the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Paris will be up in the air as she is pregnant with her second child.

Leatherdale Farms Wins Second Consecutive Dressage Breeder of the Year Award

Lexington, Ky. - Nov. 29, 2017 - For the second year in a row, Louise Leatherdale and Leatherdale Farms received the prestigious Adequan/USDF Dressage Breeder of the Year award. Leatherdale Farms has long-since been recognized for its high-quality Hanoverian breeding program both in the United States and in Germany. In addition to their breeder award, many of Leatherdale Farms' young horses received recognition in the Horse of the Year awards and American Hanoverian Society year-end awards. 

With an impressive median score of 192, which was nearly 100 points higher than the next breeder, the breeding program was rewarded by the impressive averages of several sport horses all sired by Leatherdale Farms' stallions. Duchess L, Hero L, Hannigan L, Fleur De Lis L and Fighting Chance L had outstanding seasons that contributed to the farm's success.  

Mike Suchanek and Hannigan L

Mike Suchanek and Hannigan L

"The Leatherdale horses are very talented and the top breeding is evident in the creation of very intelligent and athletic horses," Leatherdale Farms' young rider Mike Suchanek said. He also credits the teams' success to the pride Leatherdale and her late husband, Doug, had for their operation as well as their dedication and passion for the horses. 

"Doug and Louise really took their time and did their research to hand pick the lineages, as they wanted to create a line of horses that were talented but also had great minds," Suchanek explained. "Louise is a very special woman - she carries on the passion that Doug also had for this sport and for the horses. She wants the very best for her horses and she cares just as much about the people she hires as she does her amazing animals!  

Mike Suchanek and Duchess L

Mike Suchanek and Duchess L

"To have found such a generous and passionate owner and breeder that I can ride and train horses for has been an opportunity of a lifetime and a dream job!" Suchanek concluded. "I'm so excited I was able to help earn Leatherdale Farms another Breeder of the Year award! I'm so honored to be a part of Doug and now Louise's passionate endeavor!" 

The 6-year-old Hanoverian mare Duchess L (Damsey FRH-De la Rosa, De Niro) placed third in the Adequan/USDF Second Level Dressage Horse of the Year with a median score of 73.300 percent and placed sixth in the Third Level division with a median of 73.141. The mare also took home a win in the Third Level Open and a second in the Second Level Open All-Breed award for the American Hanoverian Society.  

Hannigan L (E.H. Herzensdieb-Pia Colada, Pik L), a 6-year-old Hanoverian gelding, secured a third place ribbon in the Third Level Open All-Breed award for the American Hanoverian Society with a median 70.962 percent.

  Mike Suchanek and Hero L

 

Mike Suchanek and Hero L

Earning the reserve championship for the Adequan/USDF Prix St. Georges Dressage Horse of the Year was the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding Hero L (His Highness-Waterlily L, Wolkenstein II) with a median score of 74.935 percent. In the American Hanoverian Society's All-Breed standings, Hero L won the Intermediate I Open division with a median 69.649 percent and won the Prix St. Georges Open division.  

"They are happy horses and I try to instill in them a sense of confidence every time I ride so they can trust me and I can trust them. I think that keeps them happy and successful," Suchanek explained as he expressed his optimism for the coming years. "When the horses are mentally and physically ready to develop, they are eager to learn and it's a lot of fun to be able to keep training them up the levels and have them keep progressing." 

Leatherdale Farms' 17-year-old gelding Devon L's (De Niro-EM Wibranda, Wolkenstein II) experience shone through as he claimed first place in the Grand Prix Open All-Breed award for the American Hanoverian Society with a median 68.292 percent score. Devon L has won the award several times during his successful career and in the 2017 season he earned points with the help of both Diane Creech and her daughter, Vanessa Creech-Terauds, who also began competing in the U25 Grand Prix division with Devon L this spring. 

Diane Creech and Devon L

Diane Creech and Devon L

"Devon L loves to perform and he has taken me so many places - I will always be grateful to him and to Louise, who has supported us all these years," Creech said. "It makes it even more wonderful as he now is carrying on his legacy with my daughter in the U25 division. Although it can be at times a little challenging to work with a professor who knows it all, they both are making compromises, bonding and becoming more and more of a team." 

Lastly, the 8-year-old Hanoverian mare Fleur De Lis L (First Dance-EM De La Rosa, De Niro) and Vanessa Creech-Terauds won the American Hanoverian Society's Prix St. Georges Junior/Young Rider division with a median of 69.167 percent.  

Vanessa Creech-Terauds and Fleur de Lis L with Diane Creech

Vanessa Creech-Terauds and Fleur de Lis L with Diane Creech

"Riding and growing with Fleur has been an amazing experience and learning opportunity!" Creech-Terauds said. "At shows, she has such a super mindset and really focuses on working with you throughout all of the movements in the test. She has an amazing natural ability to collect, which is super in the pirouettes and she has a nice hind leg. Fleur is so willing and you know that she will always try her heart out for you!"

Leatherdale Farms Performance Horses Dominate GAIG/USDF Region 4 Championships

Mason City, Iowa – Oct. 10, 2017 – In the beginning of October, the Leatherdale Farms team travelled to Iowa to compete in the GAIG/USDF Region 4 Championships with great success. Mike Suchanek piloted the talented young horses to multiple championship wins and other exciting results at the regional show that qualified them for the prestigious US Dressage Finals held in Lexington, Kentucky, in November.

The 6-year-old Hanoverian mare Duchess L (Damsey – De La Rosa, De Niro) made a great impression in her large Third Level class of over 30 horses, claiming the Open Championship win with a score of 71.154 percent. She also earned a wildcard for the US Dressage Finals after scoring 70.854 percent in the Second Level Open Championship.

Mike Suchanek and Duchess L

Mike Suchanek and Duchess L

 

“Duchess is great and keeps proving she is ready for the next step,” Suchanek said. “She continues to prove that nothing is too hard for a Damsey! She did amazing in our test with expressive flying changes and she really showed off her medium trot.”

Hannigan L (EH Herzensdieb – Pia Colada, Pik L), another talented 6-year-old bred and owned by Leatherdale Farms, earned his qualification for the US Dressage Finals placing third in the Third Level Open Championship with a score of 70.577 percent.

“Hannigan is doing well and progressing right along,” Suchanek said. “He’s ready for more and he’s starting to really show off his ability. I expect him to be at Prix St. Georges next year.”

Mike Suchanek and Hannigan L

Mike Suchanek and Hannigan L

The 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding Fighting Chance L (First Dance – EM Helia, Hohenstein) collected multiple tricolor ribbons at the championships, clinching the competitive Fourth Level Open Championship with a score of 71.389 percent as well as the Open Prix St. Georges reserve championship.

“It’s his first year competing at a FEI level,” Suchanek explained. “I didn’t go into this show with high expectations, but he came out and earned the reserve championship. He really showed off his abilities! He’s like a sports car and is very easy to adjust in the show ring. On Sunday, he was really listening to me and on the aids. I can’t wait to see what his future holds.”

Following such a great performance in Iowa, the Leatherdale Farms team is thrilled to have qualified all three horses to the US Dressage Finals, which will be held in Lexington, Kentucky, Nov. 9-12.

Mike Suchanek and Fighting Chance L

Mike Suchanek and Fighting Chance L

“We are very happy all three of them qualified and we are expecting to go to Finals,” Suchanek said. “A big thank you to Louise [Leatherdale] for her generosity. We love the opportunity to make her proud each time we go in the ring. We are very proud of these horses and it’s going to be an exciting future for all.

“I also want to thank Alison Sader-Larson for another great year of learning from her, as well as Jessi Lash and my grooms for all their hard work,” he continued. “I’m very fortunate to have such a great team.”