Leatherdale Farms' Performance Horses Make Strides in European Dressage Ring

Uggerhalne, Denmark - June 17, 2017 - After a successful winter show season in Wellington, Florida, Leatherdale Farms' Louise Leatherdale offered Diane Creech and her daughter, Vanessa Creech-Terauds, a special opportunity to train and compete in Europe during the summer. At the end of May, Fleur de Lis L, Diana C and Chrevis Christo made the journey across the Atlantic Ocean to kickstart their first European competition at the Equitour Aalborg CDIO in Uggerhalne, Denmark.

"It is a pleasure to have Diane and Vanessa compete in Europe this summer," Louise Leatherdale said. "The shows are well run and offer both horse and rider a chance to experience international competition first hand. The fact that Chrevis Christo and Diana C returned to the region in Denmark where they were bred and raised offered their breeders a chance to connect once again and see that the horses are training properly and are loved! What a joy to hear their breeders praise for these exceptional horses! On to Germany next for further shows and training." 

Diane Creech and Chrevis Christo. Photo by Vivian Havbæk Thomasen.

Diane Creech and Chrevis Christo. Photo by Vivian Havbæk Thomasen.

Creech and the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Chrevis Christo (Chrevis Cavallo - Chrevis La VI, Matador) earned outstanding scores throughout the week in Denmark. In the large Grand Prix class, the pair placed fifth with a score of 68.72 percent and they placed third in the Grand Prix Special with a 71.118 percent. 
"Chrevis Christo was so amazing and it was incredible to be in the top three of such a competitive class in Europe," Creech said. "It was a very proud moment for our entire team!
"Thank you to my daughter, supporter and groom, Vanessa, and especially to Louise Leatherdale for giving us the chance of a lifetime to experience this!" Creech continued. "It makes it even more special that Vanessa and I can do it together and we know it will help in the development of the horses and make us become better riders and trainers."

Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Creech-Terauds had a stellar season collecting many wins in Wellington aboard Fleur de Lis L (First Dance-EM De La Rosa, De Niro). The 8-year-old Hanoverian mare, stepped up to the Young Rider level this year and together they gained experience and confidence in their first Europe competition. After two solid rides in the Young Rider Team Test and Individual Test, the duo qualified for the Young Rider Freestyle where they earned a 66.275 percent. 

Vanessa Creech-Terauds and Fleur de Lis L

Vanessa Creech-Terauds and Fleur de Lis L

"It has been my first time competing overseas and it has been a wonderful experience!" Creech-Terauds said. "I was so proud to represent my country at such a competitive competition. Although Fleur reacted a little bit to the atmosphere, I was still so proud of how she managed in to settle in the end! 

"We are moving on to Hagen next," she continued. "I'm looking forward to making more memories and gaining more experience."

Creech and Creech-Terauds were pleased with their first European outing and they are looking forward to continuing their training. Their tentative competition schedule will be the CDI3* Hartpury, England, on July 5-9, and the CDI3* Deauville, France, on July 20-23. 

Mike Suchanek Showcased a Promising Season for Leatherdale Farms' Young Horses

Mason City, Iowa - June 4, 2017- Mike Suchanek and Leatherdale Farms' talented mounts wowed the judges at the first competitions of their season. The Leatherdale Team competed at the Lamplight May I and II dressage shows in Wayne, Illinois, and the Bara Trac I and Too shows in Mason City, Iowa. Coming in first place fourteen times out of nineteen tests, MikeSuchanek showcased his successful partnerships with Leatherdale's young horses.

"I'm really excited about how far along they are coming, especially since most of them debuted at higher levels this year," Suchanek said. "We have been focusing on developing their strength and working on improving new movements we introduced, such as the flying changes and pirouettes. Thank you to Louise [Leatherdale] for the opportunity to show her horses and make her proud!" 

Mike Suchanek and Hero L

Mike Suchanek and Hero L

The team made the trip from the farms' Minnesota base to compete at the two-day show at Lamplight Equestrian Center.  In 2016, Duchess L (Damsey-De La Rosa, De Niro) won the First Level Open Reserve Championship at the U.S. Dressage Finals, and Suchanek was excited for her Second Level debut this year. The 6-year-old Hanoverian mare won both of her classes, earning a 76.970 percent in Second Level Test 1 and a 74.024 percent in Second Level Test 3. 

"Duchess is such a lovely horse and learns so fast," Suchanek explained. "She put on a lot of muscle over the winter and things are becoming easier for her. I'm really excited about her future." 

Hero L (His Highness-Waterlily L, Wolkenstein II), a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding who won the 2016 Intermediate I Open Championship at the U.S. Dressage Finals, performed well to win the Prix St. Georges class with a 75.395 percent at Lamplight. 

Continuing the winning streak, Hannigan L (E.H. Herzensdieb-Pia Colada, Pik L), a 7-year-old Hanoverian gelding, competed at Third Level for the first time and won both of his classes with a 71.795 percent and a 76.538 percent. 

"Hannigan loves his work and he is very intelligent - it's actually been a challenge to hold him back in the work because he wants to keep giving more," Suchanek laughed. 

Mike Suchanek and Hannigan L

Mike Suchanek and Hannigan L

Suchanek and Fighting Chance L (First Dance-EM Helia, Hohenstein) also debuted at a higher level at Lamplight and earned scores of 68.333 percent and 67.111 percent and blue ribbons in both of their Fourth Level Test 3 classes. 

After resting for a few days between shows, the team packed up to travel to Iowa for their second show of the season - Bara Trac I and Too. Duchess L continued her domination at Second Level and scored an astounding 81.098 percent and 71.818 percent. 

Earning two first place scores, Hannigan L received a 74.359 percent and a 68.205 percent in the Third Level Test 3 classes

To wrap up of a stellar start to the summer show season, Fighting Chance L continued to gain confidence at Fourth Level by winning one of his classes, and placing second in another class with a 65.111 percent.  

"Fighting Chance loves to show off in front of an audience and he is very enthusiastic about his work," Suchanek said. "I'm happy with his results and I think his scores will continue to improve the more times he goes out in the ring." 

Mike Suchanek and Fighting Chance L

Mike Suchanek and Fighting Chance L

Helen Langehanenberg and Leatherdale Farms' Damsey FRH Earn Personal Best Score in Mannheim

Mannheim, Germany - May 15, 2017 - Since partnering with Leatherdale Farms' stallion Damsey FRH (Dressage Royal-Ria Grande, Ritual), Olympian Helen Langehanenberg has ridden him to astounding success. In their CDI3* debut together in 2016, the pair won both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special in Mannheim, Germany. Since their initial success, Langehanenberg and Damsey FRH have continued to develop a successful relationship, receiving top scores throughout Europe.

"Damsey is a brilliant horse and I really believe in him," Langehanenberg said. "We have fun together and we really got to know each other. When you start a new partnership with a new horse, it always takes some time to adjust, but we have really grown together. 

"He is very special with a great character and everything is very easy for him," she continued. "He tells me how he would like to be ridden, and I've really learned a lot from him. Damsey is very kind and not stallion-like at all." 

After their stellar performance at Neumünster in February 2017, earning an impressive 79.15 percent in the Grand Prix Freestyle and second place in the competitive class, the German Olympic Equestrian Committee (DOKR) awarded them a place on the German B-Team. 

"I was so excited about our success at the World Cup qualifier in Neumünster," Langehanenberg explained. "It is great they honor our success by placing us on the B-Team, especially since he is 15 years old. They see such a future for him and that is very exciting. Damsey feels more supple, more fresh and more elated going into a show." 

The 15-year-old stallion is one of the top Hanoverian sires in the world, and Damsey FRH was based out of Hengststation Jens Meyer in Dorum, Germany. Jen and Susanne Meyer have partnered with Leatherdale Farms for the past 16 years and have worked diligently to develop Leatherdale Farms' German operation.

"We are very proud of Helen and Damsey for their success!" Susanne said. "It was the first time she competed him in a World Cup class and it's the highest class you can ride. She received nearly 80 percent so we are really happy! We were told they were on the B-Team and that is a big step for everyone. Damsey loves to compete with Helen and he has really started to dance for her." 

Damsey FRH is currently ranked in the top 10 of Grand Prix competitors in Germany and in their most recent competition, which took place May 6-7 in Mannheim, they won the prestigious Grand Prix Freestyle. Langehanenberg and Damsey FRH earned an impressive personal best score of 80.350 percent to jump into the lead.

Langehanenberg has expressed her excitement to be partnered with such an extraordinary stallion, and is thrilled with their results so far. 

"My goal for the summer will be the German Championship in June, and if everything goes well, we will have a chance to go to Aachen," Langehanenberg said. "I am really happy to be able to ride Damsey - it's a chance for him, it's a chance for me. I think we really work together well and I'm really looking forward to what's to come."