It was a very spontaneous decision that owners Susanne Meyer and Louise Leatherdale made, together with rider Helen Langehanenberg. Next Saturday, after the Freestyle in Doha, Damsey FRH will be retired.
Louise Leatherdale explains: “I would have preferred to let him say goodbye in Germany. But everything is so uncertain now and we cannot have a more dignified setting than here in Doha. Of course it would have been nicer if there were spectators, but I cannot imagine that will happen this year. Helen Langehanenberg had a hard time when the organisers of Doha approached her with the idea to have Damsey leave the sport there. We let everything sink in and agreed that Damsey deserved a dignified farewell.”
There had been some thought about where and when Damsey would say goodbye to the sport. Langehanenberg says: “We do not know how the season will continue, so it seemed a good idea to do it now. It is a farewell with a back door: Damsey is still very fit and happy. I do not want to exclude that he will do one or two competitions this year. Damsey FRH is 19 years old now. A very special horse with a very special character,” Langehanenberg says.
Under Steffen Frahm, Damsey collected his first successes at Grand Prix level. He was a finalist in the Burg-Pokal in 2011 and a year later a finalist in the Louisdor Prize. In 2016 Helen Langehanenberg took over the reins. A year later the combination was part of the German team at the European championships in Gothenburg, where they won team gold. In 2019 the World Cup final was held in Gothenburg. There Langehanenberg and Damsey finished third, with their already legendary final round.
‘Breathtaking, challenging and simply so beautiful!” is how Langehanenberg describes her time with Damsey. “I have learned from him that I have to accept things. I can ask everything from him, but he can also ask that from me and I have to take him as he is.”
Photo by Hippo Foto