Look Who's Back: Expression

Mon, 02/06/2023 - 14:37
Diederik van Silfhout and Expression at the 2018 CDI Nieuw en St. Joosland :: Photo © Astrid Appels

After an almost three year absence from the show ring, the KWPN licensed stallion Expression has returned to the arena. Under Belgian Under 25 team rider Nico Nyssen, the bright bay stallion resurfaced at the CDN Dentergem on 5 February 2023.

Expression is a 14-year old KWPN stallion by Vivaldi out of Melody (by Vincent x Apollonios xx) is bred by Gert Willem van Norel. He was last registered with the FEI in 2019 as owned by the breeder in partnership with Alex and Jannet van Silfhout.

He was licensed at the 2012 KWPN Stallion Licensing and scored 77.50 points in the 2012 KWPN Autumn Stallion Performance Testing.

Diederik van Silfhout

Expression was trained from young horse level to Grand Prix by Diederik van Silfhout.

The pair was fourth in the 2013 Pavo Cup Finals, competed on the 2013-2014 KWPN Stallion Competition circuit, and became fifth in the 2014 Pavo Cup Finals

His first big international appearance was at the 2014 World Championships for young dressage horses in Verden, where he was 29th in the preliminary test (7.02 pts) but got eliminated in the consolation round. 

A year later he returned to the 2015 World Young Horse Championships as a 6-year old and was 6th in the Finals with 8.72 points. 

International Grand Prix

The pair made its international Grand Prix debut in the spring of 2018 at the CDI Nieuw en St. Joosland after winning the 2018 Dutch Indoor Championships. They also competed at the 2018 CDIO Rotterdam, but for the 2018 Dutch Outdoor Championships Expression was withdrawn as he was not fit to compete. 

Expression at the 2014 WCYH in Verden
In August 2018 Expression was signed with Dutch Olympic Horse (NOP) foundation so that owner van Norel would not sell him before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  

After an 8-month break from international competition, Van Silfhout returned to the arena at the 2019 CDI Lier and campaigned in 's Hertogenbosch, Hagen and Geesteren that year. The pair was consistently scoring at 72% in the Grand Prix tests and after Geesteren became A-squad listed. However right before the 2019 CDIO Rotterdam the stallion got injured and another 9 month break followed. The horse lost the NOP deal as Van Norel and his sons wanted to be free agents and have the opportunity to sell.

The stallion resurfaced at the CDI Herning in March 2020. It was Diederik's last CDI on Expression. 

Nico Nyssen

Expression disappeared for three years from the show circuit and questions about his whereabouts were never answered. 

In June 2021 co-owner and breeder Gert Willem van Norel passed away and his children inherited the business.

Expression has now reappeared at the CDN Dentergem in Belgium, where NIco Nyssen rode him "hors concours" in the Intermediaire II. His score was not posted. 

Nyssen trains with Carmen de Bondt and is a part-time rider for Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud alongside his own business.

Photos © Astrid Appels

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