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World-class dressage rider and her horse blankets: Helen Langehanenberg places her trust in Miele

Gütersloh/Billerbeck, June 13, 2022 No. 037/2022
  • New washing machine and dryer reduce workload in stables

  • Purpose-built for equestrian sports

Each medal and cup won by Helen Langehanenberg is the result of hard work and sheer graft – and the committed team providing support to the internationally successful dressage rider. Nine employees train and care for almost 50 horses on an expansive estate near Billerbeck in Germany's Münsterland district. The main passageway through the stable leads off into a room which houses a new Miele commercial washing machine and a matching dryer to ensure clean cooler blankets, saddle pads and bandages. This hardly comes as a surprise: 'We have long been associated with equestrian sports', says Dr. Reinhard Zinkann, Executive Director and Co-Proprietor of the Miele Group, during a visit to the training centre.

Together with her Holsteiner mare Annabelle, Helen Langehanenberg was a member of the German gold medal team at the 2021 European Championships and both were nominated as reserves for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. 'The path to victory is paved with painstaking work', the fully qualified groom says, explaining her daily work. 'Step sequences are practiced time and time again with meticulous precision. As a result, both horse and rider sweat profusely, even if a training unit lasts only half an hour. And then there's the endless dirt which comes with outdoor sports'.

That is why around 20 saddle pads have to be washed every day – but this easily doubles before and after a tournament. But now the workload on the groom Ann-Christin Berger has been significantly reduced: 'Back in the day, we had a domestic washing machine from Miele with the capacity for at most two saddle pads which I had to load and unload 10 times a day'. This machine's commercial successor from the Benchmark series manages more than twice that amount and so only runs half as often. It also offers ample space for bulky winter and cooler blankets which were previously contracted out to a professional laundry, saving entirely on associated costs.

With a load capacity of 12 kg and a drum with perforations on the rear panel, this heavy-duty machine is designed to rinse out coarse soil fast. Three special-purpose programmes for horse blankets take on board the needs of a variety of materials and, if required, also reproof equestrian textiles. The dryer has a matching load capacity.

'These machines have been subject to on-going improvements over many years', says Miele Executive Director Reinhard Zinkann, whose own great-grandfather founded the Gütersloh family-run company in 1899 together with his partner Carl Miele. 'Nowadays, such models are to be found in German stables and in many other countries right through to the United Arab Emirates'. Helen Langehanenberg didn't even consider any other brand: 'Only Miele offers such specialised machines together with the special-purpose detergents'.

With her in-stable laundry, she is pursuing a policy which has already been implemented in other areas of the equestrian centre: Part of the straw, for example, is grown on their own lands, albeit by a tenant farmer. 'That way, I keep full control of all that is important and am guaranteed quality'. Her customers from around the globe send their expensive quadrupeds to Billerbeck for training and value the fact that Helen Langehanenberg and her staff take personal care of many things themselves. The vet is her own husband. 'There is a simple formula for success', says the woman who has won 14 medals at international championships right through to the Olympic Games and whose international debut goes back some 20 years ago. 'Start with passion and stick at it and you will be sure to find the right way in the short or long term'.

Reinhard Zinkann, who visited the new laundry, is also convinced of the concept: 'Everything here is just right: Modern technology, committed employees and fantastic horses with a promising future in the world of equestrian sports'. As Miele sponsors national and international events, this is not the first time he has peeked behind the scenes. 'And it certainly won't be the last time I visit these stables'.


Company profile: Miele is the world's leading manufacturer of premium domestic appliances including cooking, baking and steam-cooking appliances, refrigeration products, coffee makers, dishwashers and laundry and floor care products. Their product portfolio also includes dishwashers, air purifiers, washing machines and tumble dryers for commercial use as well as washer-disinfectors and sterilisers for use in medical and laboratory applications. Founded in 1899, the company has eight production plants in Germany, one each in Austria, the Czech Republic, China, Romania and Poland as well as two production plants belonging to its Italian medical technology subsidiary Steelco. Sales in the 2021 business year amounted to around € 4.84 bn. Miele is represented with its own sales subsidiaries and via importers in almost 100 countries/regions. Throughout the world, the family-run enterprise, now in its fourth generation, employs a workforce of around 21,900, of which approx. 11,400 employees work in Germany. The company has its headquarters in Gütersloh in Westphalia.

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Two persons devoted to equestrian sports: The internationally successful dressage rider Helen Langehanenberg and Dr. Reinhard Zinkann, Executive Director and Co-Proprietor of Miele. (Photo: Miele)

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The commercial washing machine washes and, where necessary, reproofs up to 12 kg of equestrian sports textiles. Helen Langehanenberg opted for Miele – and Dr. Reinhard Zinkann convinced himself on location that the new in-stable laundry works as promised. (Photo: Miele)

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Around 20 saddle pads require washing each day as equestrian sports at a professional level is thoroughly hard work for both grooms and horses. (Photo: Miele)

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Stacked to the brim with blankets, saddle pads, bandages and other textiles: Supply cupboards and utility rooms adjacent to the stables. (Photo: Miele)

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Heading for the riding arena: At the equestrian centre in Billerbeck, Helen Langehanenberg trains and takes care of almost 50 of her own horses and those of international clients. (Photo: Miele)

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Warmly shrouded: horses are carefully groomed in the stables after training. (Photo: Miele)

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