Klimke and “Braxxi,” a 16-year-old Hanoverian (Heraldik XX—Kira-Annabell, Kronenkranich XX) owned by Madeleine Winter-Schulze, Klimke and Andreas Busacker, first competed together in 2005. The pair helped Germany to team gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games and the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong. Braxxi also finished 16th at this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI**** (England), fifth at this year’s Land Rover Burghley CCI**** (England) and second at the 2010 Luhmühlen CCI**** (Germany).
“I started this season with the Badminton CCI****, to see how fit and motivated you still were, and you were great,” said Klimke in a letter to Braxxi. “Burghley was one of our most serious cross-country rides, and you once again gave me your very great fighting spirit. Often I was wondering when the right time would come to do less with you, and I had secretly hoped that you’d give me a sign. You have been as fresh and motivated as ever this season. There are only six four-star tests in the world, four of which you have completed successfully. We are not doing more together. Now the time is right—time for new tasks.”
Klimke stated that Braxxi will stay fit with turnout, hunting and trail riding, under both Klimke and her barn manager Carmen Thiemann. There will be an official retirement ceremony for him at the 2014 Luhmühlen CCI****.
“Braxxi dear, I owe you countless memorable moments of pure happiness,” wrote Klimke. “On the most difficult cross-country tracks in the world you’ve always been ‘fast as a hare,’ to quote Chris Bartle, and feisty as a lion. So often you have touched my heart. You gave me your boundless faith and never doubted that I chose the right way for us. We are a wonderful team and can always rely on each other.”