Diederik van Silfhout's Luxform's Popeye Passed Away

Wed, 03/08/2023 - 23:14
The Netherlands
Diederik van Silfhout and Popeye at the 2012 CDI-W 's Hertogenbosch :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Diederik van Silfhout's career starting youth riders and Grand Prix horse, Luxform's Popeye, has passed away on 7 March 2023. He was 26 years old. 

Popeye was a KWPN bred gelding by Havel out of Jirdonie (by Dillenburg x Komeet). He was bred by Jans Hegen and owned by Z & L Kanis.

The liver chestnut gelding xas the full brother of Grand Prix horses Luxform's Nimbly and Olympus.

From Juniors to Grand Prix

Luxform's Popeye took Dutch Diederik van Silfhout from junior level to Grand Prix and also tutored Lotje Schoots up to Grand Prix level.

Van Silfhout first rode him at junior level and was selected on the Dutch team for the 2004 European Junior Rider Championships, where he and the 6-year old Popeye finished fourth overall. At the 2004 Dutch Junior Riders Championships he was 6th and 9th in the two rounds

Diederik & Lotje

As of 2005 Van Slfhout began sharing the ride on Popeye with his then girlfriend, Lotje Schoots. In 2006 Diederik placed in the top 10 at the 2006 Dutch Small Tour Championships. In 2007 Schoots competed Popeye and placed second twice with him at the 2007 Dutch Young Riders Championships, but she could only be ranked with one horse on the podium and earned gold on her number one at the time, Reine B. 

Lotje Schoots and Popeye in 2009
In 2010 Schoots and Popeye made their national Grand Prix debut together in Ermelo. Schoots left Stable van Silfhout in the early spring of 2010.

In 2010 and 2011 Diederik campaigned the gelding in the Under 25 as well as in the senior classes. They finished fourth in the 2011 Dutch Senior Grand Prix Championships and between 2011 and 2014 competed at CDI's in Amsterdam, Den Bosch, Saumur, Drachten, and Vidauban.

They won silver in the 2013 Dutch Indoor Winter Championships. The horse's last international show was the CDI-W Amsterdam in January 2014.

Femke Beljon

At the start of 2015 Femke Beljon has received the ride on the 18-year old Popeye as her schoolmaster. A year later she finished seventh with him at the 2016 Dutch Indoor Winter Championships. 

Popeye was then retired from sport and spent his final years in the field at neighbour Nynke Mulder's stable.  He was put to sleep on 7 March 2023. 

Diederik and Popeye in the U25 at the 2011 CDIO Aachen
"He was in our stable for 20 years and was successful at Grand Prix level with several riders," Stable Van Silfhout posted on Facebook. "He retired as a 20-year old and was able to enjoy six great years in retirement. We all have many nice years together."

Lotje Schoots added, "only love for this top horse."

Photos © Astrid Appels

Related Links
Eurodressage Photo Database: Popeye
Luxeform's Popeye to Femke Beljon
Gal and Barbancon Lead the Way in the Big Tour at the 2012 CDI Drachten
Belgian Sensation: Julie de Deken wins Intermediaire II in Aachen Under 25 Competition
Van den Brink and Van Silfhout Go Dutch in 2010 Aachen Under 25 Competition
Lotje Schoots Leaves Stable Van Silfhout
Lotje Schoots Spearheads 2008 Dutch Junior/Young Rider Selection Trials
Scores: 2004 European Junior Riders Championships
Dutch Junior and Young Riders A and B-Teams for 2004 Announced