- I was born in Münster, Westfalia on April 1, 1968.
- I completed an apprenticeship as a bank clerk, I have the 1st state junior primary school and am a horse economist.
- With Andreas Busacker i have two daughters, Greta (2002) and Philippa (2010).
- Since 1998 I have been running my own training stable with 10 horses (dressage, jumping, eventing).
- The focus of my work is the effective training of horses from the beginning all the way through to championship levels.
- My dressage training, along the classical riding lines, I learnt from my father, Dr Reiner Klimke. After his death in 1999 Major a.D.Paul Stecken continued to support me until 2016.
- For the eventing I work together with the National Trainer Hans Melzer and the former National Trainer Christopher Bartle.
- In my early years Fritz Ligges was my showjumping trainer; this was then furthered and refined during a stay in Canada with Ian Miller as well as through other trainers such as Anne Kursinski.
- Since 2000 I have been training with the former National Trainer of the showjumping team , Kurt Gravemeier, who has supported me at all the Olympic Games.
- Hohannes Augustin supports the training of the horses with ground work.
- …some family history: http://www.eurodressage.com/2013/01/22/ruth-klimke-backbone-success-klimke-dynasty
European Championchips 2017 Strzegom
Olympic Games 2016 Rio
Bye-Bye Braxxi 2014
Olympic Games London 2012
Letter to Chris Bartle Münster, January 2017
It has been weighing on my mind to write to you about our 16 years together. This letter means a lot to me and a couple of sentences is just not enough to cover all those years.
You always knew just by the look on my face how I was feeling and if you were to see me now you would see one half smiling and the other half crying.
When we first met, the name Chris Bartle was synonymous in my family with a successful English dressage rider. You rode against my father in the dressage in 1984 at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, both fighting in the individual round for a medal and you came 5th. At the time my father talked about how enjoyable it was to work together with you. Which made it even more special for me as our paths crossed when you became the National Trainer for the German Eventing Riders.
I fondly remember our first cross country training as you tried to explain to me that I should ride with much longer reins ( “Hands under your eyes”) when I rode the cross country. That was very foreign to me as I had a tendency to gallop around in a very forward seat. My hands were either up around the horse’s ears or almost at the bit. This always posed the danger that at drop fences, especially into water, I would be leaning fairly precariously forward and pretty close to going in a direction I shouldn’t!
I can still see us at the water in Luhmühlen, jumping in and back out from every side possible and always with the words “open your fingers and let the reins slip through!”
You wouldn’t let me look down into the water either, only where I wanted to jump out. My upper body should remain upright and I could always hear your commentary “Your head must touch his tail” in my mind at every drop fence or water jump.
The 5 year old horse I had on trial at the time had to repeat this exercise over and over and over, however the learning of the defensive cross country seat paid off!
Bridging my reins in the cross country is another trick of yours that I gladly use and even now, feel much safer at all times, especially in sticky situations.
I also remember the video analysis of the European Championships in Blair. I think we can both chuckle over that- as you used me as the example of the upper body not staying upright- there I was thinking I would used as a positive example 🙂
We’ve had lots of funny times with the countless test rounds on horses I was trying. From wild stallions where you really didn’t want to let me off the lunge to the discovery of Braxxi.
Your usual comment when trying new horses was “There are many more fish in the sea!”
You also made me learn the very fast “Chris-Bartle-cross-country-walk” as there is no one faster or with as much stamina as you are with your riders walking the cross country. You constantly made me aware of little details along the way, that had I been alone, I would never have noticed. You taught me how to view the cross country the way my horse would see it and analyse it accordingly. Counting the strides became less important and the “preparation-point” became more and more important!
One of the most difficult courses I have ever ridden was Burghley 2013. Without your support I don’t think I would have trusted myself to ride it.
After each test it was always especially important for me to ask my burning question: “what can I do better?”. If we were both happy then I always felt I’d reached my goal, even if it wasn’t a winning test.
I especially appreciated your dressage lessons. You could ride every horse from the ground. It didn’t matter if it was a head shaker, a “hot oven” or super sensitive- you got every horse to feel confident and shine in the arena.
There were never any language barriers, instead always situations to laugh about. “He looks like a Hirsch!”
Working with you was always so enjoyable, I never missed an opportunity to train with you. There was always something new, like riding with a neck rope.
Every Autumn I would feel a little down, knowing the next lessons would be after the winter break- which was sometimes really quite long.
There is one situation I will never forget! We were in Kentucky for the World Games and we were saddling up for our last gallop session. Carmen wasn’t there so you offered to hold Braxxi. “I’ll hold him like a racehorse” were the last words out of your mouth as Braxxi took off, with the saddle under his stomach, trying to catch up with Peter and Dibo, who were already galloping up the hill.
Once we caught him and I was trying once again to get on him and you still couldn’t keep a hold of wild little Braxxi, I was really worried that you truly didn’t want us there at all in Kentucky.
However you were most likely realising just how fast Braxxi could gallop and with good reason said to me just before the cross country start in London “He is fast like a rabbit, let him run like he wants”
There were also sad moments and really big disappointments for me. Braxxi’s show jumping was always a big let down and often I was just so devastated and felt so useless. However you always believed in us, even when not too many others had much faith in us.
No one could have spoken so kindly about Braxxi as you did at his admission into the Hall of Fame and his retirement in Luhmühlen.
I always looked forward to the evening video analysis after training. You always noticed every little detail and your sensible and thoughtful explanations always impressed me and I was always able to learn so much.
There was a tradition you had, that at Championships, you would always give a speech. At our first Olympic Games you surprised all the riders with this and gave the word “team spirit” a new meaning.
Dear Chris, the years with you as our trainer were really quite special for me!
I will always be thankful that I could learn so much from you and I look forward to you- now in a blue jacket- visiting us at “Villa Klimke” and drinking a coffee together.
I wish you lots of happiness with your new responsibilities and challenges.
Even though it saddens me greatly, I totally understand your decision.
- The Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete 2019 Award i became as athlete wo, over the past year, has demonstrated exceptional skill in the arena and taken the sport to a new level.
- In 2019, I received the sports badgeof NRW for outstanding volunteering in sport.
- In 2019, I received the “Prize of Trust”-a special award for exemplary action from the Values Foundation.
- In 2019 I was voted as “Sportswoman of the Year 2018” by the city of Münster- for the 11th time, the other nine years being 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 1999. No other sportsperson in the state of Nordrhein- Westfalen has been awarded the Title so many times.
- I received the P.S.I. Award 2017 in the category “Sport” for outstanding results in equestrian sports.
- The Smash Award – an social media innovation prize – I received 2017 in the category “Individuals / Duo with the most Facebook Likes”.
- In 2016 I was presented with the “Order of the Merit of the State“ by Minister President Hannelore Kraft as a sign of recognition for special Merit in favour of the public.
- In 2016 I received the “Silver Bay Leaf” presented by the Federal President Joachim Gauck for outstanding sporting achievements, for the fourth time since 2012 (from Federal President Joachim Gauck), 2008 and 2005 (presented by Federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble).
- In 2016 I was awarded with the “Friedensreiterpreis” (“Riders Peace Prize”) for outstanding engagements in Equestrian Sport. In 2004, along with my fellow eventing team members at Athens, we also received the “Friedensreiterpreis”.
- In 2014 I received the “Silver Kiepe” as recognition for contribution of the work to the benefit of the city of Münster.
- The DOKR ( German Olympic Committee for Riding) awarded Dresden Mann with the Otto-Lörke-Preis in 2013 at the Stuttgart Schleyerhalle. The Otto-Lörke-Preis is awarded each year to the rider, trainer and owner of the dressage horse that is no older than 10 years of age, that shows their dressage talent with outstanding success in Grand Prix tests in Germany.
- In 2012 the Title of “Riding Master“ was given to me for outstanding success in the saddle, long term success as an outstanding trainer as well as an impeccable commitment to the sport of riding.
- In 2017 I was appointed honorary member of the Wiesbadener Reit- und Fahr-Club e.V.
- At the 13th Annual General Meeting of the German Olympic Sport Federation (DOSB) in December 2016, at the recommendation of the Athletic Commission, I was elected to the circle of personal members of the DOSB.
- Since 2013 I am an Ambassador of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI). The FEI appointed me as an Ambassador for their development program “FEI Solidarity”
- I have been a Member of the Board of the Westfalen Horse Museum since it started in 2002.
- I am a lecturer for the German Institute of Horse Osteopathy (DIPO)
- I am available for lectures for the Mercedes-Benz-Forum
- I am taking part in the Training Series “The Old Masters” as a guest Instructor and Trainer.
- I hold lectures and Seminars for the FN (National Equestrian Federation)
- I hold National and International Coaching Clinics (South Africa, Belgium, Norway, Finland etc) for dressage, jumping and cross country.
- From 2012 until 2014 I was the President of the German Riding and Driving Federation.
- Over the years I was the supporting Coach for dressage for ponies, Junior and Young Riders.
- During my apprenticeship I instructed as part of the Master Trainer classes for the Westfalen Riding and Driving School in Münster.