Johnny Takter announces his retirement
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Top Swedish driver Johnny Takter, the older brother of Jimmy Takter, has announced his retirement from racing, effective later this week. Takter's announcement was made in a letter that was published by Swedish trotting media. Takter said his last drives will be on Thursday at the Jägersro track in Malmo, Sweden.
Takter won his first victory with Royal in Mantorp in 1977. Since then, the 59-year-old has won the 2015 Breeders Crown Open Trot with Creatine at Woodbine and the Peter Haughton Memorial Trot with Weingartner for his brother, Jimmy. In 2015 he also finished second with Shake It Cerry in the Breeders Crown. On Hambletonian Day in 2015 he finished second, beaten a head, with Kathy Parker in the Jim Doherty Memorial, was second with Earn And Burn in the Peter Haughton Memorial, and also picked up a third with Shake It Cerry in the Fresh Yankee and was second and fourth (elimination and final) with The Bank in the Hambletonian. In 2015 he also drove Creatine to a third-place finish in the Yonkers International Trot. In his native Sweden Takter won the Elitlopp with Iceland for trainer Stefan Melander, plus other top Swedish races with Commander Crowe and Creatine.
Takter issued the following statement (translated and edited) about his retirement:
"Throughout my life I have been doing horses and tricks. I started with my father, Bo William. Over the years I have been driving amazing horses and have won a lot of nice races. It has been a great honor for me to drive nice horses and win both in Sweden and abroad. I have won all the big stakes I wanted to win.
"It requires an enormous commitment and motivation to keep up at the top level.
"Now I feel that I no longer have the motivation, joy and inner drive required to perform at the top level. I've known this for a long time and gradually that feeling has grown stronger. Then it is not right for the horses, the trainers, the players and the sport to continue. That's why I, together with my mental coach Stig Wiklund, decided to stop driving. Stig has motivated me in recent years to continue to hold on and I am grateful.
"This decision has grown in a process for a long time. And now I'm at the end of the road! Hence my decision!
"Now I want to move on and do something else. I want to find new exciting challenges off the track.
"I will drive two racing days this week, Tuesday at Solvalla and Thursday at Jägersro. Then it's over.
"I'm very grateful for the amazing time I've had within the track. I have won very many big races, became champion on numerous occasions and received several other great awards. I would like to thank everyone who has given me confidence throughout my years. I am extremely grateful about that. It has been a great time in many ways, but now I want to do something else. Now it's over!"