High heels, high horses

Denise Mosbach, Friday, September 19, 2014, 340 Views

High heels, high horses

No one can deny that polo is a sport for the elite. Thoroughbred polo ponies alone cost a small fortune. They are wonderful animals bred and trained especially for polo. They are extremely fast and manoeuvrable and sell for about one hundred thousand euros. The average polo player needs about five ponies per match, which is why it is not my thing and the sport is fairly small-scale in Holland. It is becoming more popular, however. There are a number of good tournaments and an increasing number of clubs where you can give it a try.

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No one can deny that polo is a sport for the elite. Thoroughbred polo ponies alone cost a small fortune. They are wonderful animals bred and trained especially for polo. They are extremely fast and manoeuvrable and sell for about one hundred thousand euros. The average polo player needs about five ponies per match, which is why it is not my thing and the sport is fairly small-scale in Holland. It is becoming more popular, however. There are a number of good tournaments and an increasing number of clubs where you can give it a try.

I’ll be a spectator for now. Argentina is a polo-playing nation and if you want to see a great match in Holland, you need to go to The Trophy Argentina. This is where the best Argentine teams play against the best Dutch players. Last year the Argentine king of polo, Adolfo Cambiaso, made an appearance. And he certainly made his presence felt! The tournament is played at Polo Club Wassenaar, entry is free, the dress code is casual. As in ‘dressed for the occasion, because we are all familiar with those images of ladies stamping around the field in their (excessively) high heels...

Although I have never been there, Aki van Andel, Holland’s best player, assures me that the Polo Championship is one of the main tournaments in Holland. “It is one of the big events that everyone wants to attend,” he says. In his eyes polo is a way of life, a countryside feeling mixed with the Argentine lifestyle: “It’s the sport of gentlemen…”

You can also give polo a try yourself, for instance at Polo Club Vreeland. It has a lovely playing field near the Vecht river. The club organises clinics for groups of at least eight persons. I did a three-hour clinic and quickly learned there is no future in it for me: the polo stick must be held in your right hand and I am left-handed... 

Polo Club Wassenaar, Waalsdorperlaan 29, Wassenaar
Polo Club Vreeland, Bergseweg 28, Vreeland
Polo Championship, 14 & 15 September 2013, Landgoed Baest, Middelbeers

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