World of Showjumping
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Farewell to Sterrehof's Opium

Monday, 15 April 2024

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Marc Houtzager and Sterrehof's Opium. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

Marc Houtzager's former top horse Sterrehof's Opium has passed away, at the age of 28. With Houtzager in the saddle, the stallion jumped at the 2008 Olympic Games as well as at the 2009 European Championships representing the Netherlands. After a long and succesful career which included multiple big wins, including a Nations Cup victory at Spruce Meadows in 2009, the stallion was retired at the beginning of 2015.

On their website, Stoetereij Sterrehof wrote: 

"Sadly, we’ve had to say farewell to Sterrehof’s Opium. Despite his very respectable age of 28 years, our former Olympic stallion was still fit and until last weekend nothing indicated that we would have to bring this sad news. An unfortunate moment in the pasture made Opium injure himself and this injury, also regarding his age, turned out to be so serious that letting him peacefully go was the best choice we could make.

As known, Sterrehof’s Opium always had a very special place in our hearts. He stood at the basis of the partnership we have with Marc Houtzager, and was for seventeen years like a thread in ‘the Sterrehof Stud story’. In the context of the announced sale of our company in Nunspeet, there is even some symbolism in the moment that we have to say goodbye to this top horse.

We will cherish the memories of him. The wonderful moments he has given us are numerous: his strong performances at the 2008 Olympics, the six years in a row he successfully competed at CHIO Aachen, the victories in several Grands Prix and in the Nations Cup of Calgary, his fifth place in Rotterdam at the age of eighteen, his public farewell at Jumping Amsterdam six months later, not to mention all those times when we have seen him full of energy in the pasture after his long career. Opium, thanks for everything. We will miss you!"

At World of Showjumping, our thoughts go out to all those close to Opium. 


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