Dutch Polo History
The first Polo tournament in the Netherlands was played on 2 and 3 september 1978 at equestrian centre “De Mollenberg” in Leende, Brabant. This four country polo tournament (France, Brasil, England, Germany) was organised by J.M.J. van den Hurk, the first president of the Stichting Polo Nederland (Dutch Polo Association).
First Polo match
In 1988 the first edition of the Dutch Open Polo was organised by Bert Spaak. This polo event was played at Lage Vuursche near Hilversum.
In that year also the first Dutch polo club was established in Leende, near Eindhoven, were a exhibition match was played on September 25th 1988. This club did not exist long.
It was followed by the founding of Polo Club Balkenschoten, near Nijkerk.
For quite a while this stayed the only place in Holland were polo could be played.
In 1993 Polo Club Wassenaar, near The Hague, was founded by the Dutch retired expat Nick Grooss and organized its first polotournament called “The Orange” in 1994. The polo field is situated in the middle of horse racetrack “Duindigt”.
Polo clubs have been formed in Houten (Dutch Polo and Country Club), near Putten and Groenkan (Polo Club Midden Nederland), near Hilversum (Polo Club Vreeland in 2003), in Waalre (Polo Club Waalre) and near Enschede (Twentsch Polo Club) with stabling facilities next to the polofields.
Private polofields are established in Domburg, Middelbeers, Noorden and Breukelen.
At this moment there are 64 registered Dutch players in the Netherlands with handicaps up to handicap 2.
We have poloprofessionals playing in the Netherlands up to handicap 5.
Almost all the polohorses and equipment are imported from Argentina.
We have now around 20 polotournaments a year in the Netherlands ranging from -2 up to handicap 8.
The most famous polo events are:
- Dutch Open in May at Polo Club Vreeland
- Polo Brabant in June at Polo Club Waalre
- Zeeland Polo Cup in August in Domburg
- Twentsch Polo Cup in August in Enschede
- The NK Polo in September at Polo Club Vreeland
- The Amsterdam Museumplein Arena Polo Tournament in September in Amsterdam
National Polo Team
We have a very talented Dutch National team who won the silver medal at the European Championships 2002 in Italy and the bronze medal at the European Championships 2005 played in the Netherlands.
Every year the number of poloplayers and polotournaments still increases in the Netherlands.
So we believe polo in Holland has a great future.