Jul 19, 2023


A live auction at the Soestdijk Palace, a top-notch foal collection and a unique collaboration with Royal Polo at the Palace. Elite Foal Auction Borculo promises to be extra special this year! Organiser Annelou de Man is eagerly anticipating the auction. “And so are our guests. Official ticket sales have yet to start, but many foreign visitors have already booked their flight tickets as well as their VIP tickets.”

Text: Linde Peters

The video days for Elite Foal Auction Borculo took place early July and all went perfectly. “I was super happy. We are in the lap of luxury this year. The breeders are also thrilled with the new location, and everyone is eager to attend. We count ourselves lucky with such a collection”, says Annelou de Man. In all the years she has worked for the auction, she has seen and auctioned over 1.500 foals and horses. “During this year’s video days, I thought: what is going on here? I saw extraordinary movers, and in all three gaits! Up front, we knew we had selected genetic gems, but then the foals still have to present themselves well in front of the cameras. And they certainly did!”

Live auction
It was Elite Foal Auction Borculo’s wish to organise a live auction again. “We noticed the rising demand in the market as well. Over the past few years, numerous online auctions have sprung up. We have also had our share of success in it, and yet we wanted to do things differently from our peers. So, we commenced our search for a unique location. During one of our meetings, someone suddenly proposed: ‘Can’t we go to the Soestdijk Palace?’ I contacted the events office at the Soestdijk Palace and they responded enthusiastically. They shared that they would host a polo weekend in September and suggested we could perhaps join forces. Thus, I called Albert Hakkers, chairman of Royal Polo at the Palace. He loved the idea of collaborating. As simple as the story may sound, it is truly how it went down. The idea was literally conceived over some beer and wine at the kitchen table” quips Annelou. “Coming up with the location was the biggest challenge. The rest went like clockwork and was arranged in three days. Really amazing.”

Annelou: We count ourselves lucky with such a collection

Unique collaboration
After some consideration, it was decided to move the foal auction from August to September. “The entire organisation of the event is a joint endeavour together with Royal Polo at the Palace. For example, we do not only share the facilities, but we also set up the tickets sales together. The collaboration runs smoothly. We are on the same page when it comes to key values and standards”, explains Annelou.

Albert Hakkers chimes in: “This partnership is fantastic! I have a background in the corporate world and have always been an executive manager of large corporations such as Microsoft. I am, therefore, used to adopt a wait-and-see policy. However, when I first met Annelou, I knew within 10 minutes: ‘This is it!’ Ever since, I have not doubted it for a single moment. Our partnership only grew stronger. Annelou has a great mindset: she is smart, experienced and solution-oriented. It aligns with our organisation. We simply want to organise a fun weekend, full of positive energy, but also with respect for other people and the environment.”

Annelou: “We obviously share the passion for horses, but we are each focused on an entirely different discipline. For example, polo is not affiliated with the Dutch national federation; it is a whole other ball game. It is fun to learn more and more about each other’s sports and to help each other. For instance, Albert was still looking for an auctioneer for Saturday’s auction during the benefit gala. Auctions are my thing; so, I had it covered in no time. On the other hand, I sometimes wonder: how do we handle that? Then Albert makes a phone call and gets it sorted out straightaway. We complement each other very well.”

Elite Foal Auction Borculo takes place on Friday the 15th of September. “Friday afternoon we auction all foals at once. That’s more practical and besides, we don’t want to widen that gap between dressage and jumping. The foals are auctioned in groups, so you can also choose to come for one specific group.” Visitors can really make a day out of it, since it is also possible to visit the palace and the premise has laid out a beautiful walking route. “In addition, you can visit the Pearlcard Luxury Fair. That’s an experience on a whole new level, you can think of it as a super luxurious vendor village”, explains Annelou. “It is exclusively filled with gorgeous items. Jewelry, handbag, scarves, hats, but you can also indulge in the latest innovations of cars, books, wines, art, beauty care and much more. It is a fantastic social happening”, Albert adds.

On Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th of September, the Soestdijk Palace forms the backdrop of the Pearlcard Cup. Four international polo teams will vie for this prestigious trophy. “Guests will be pampered with delicious bites and drinks prepared by our chef.” On Saturday evening, there will be a special benefit gala. The Royal Polo at the Palace Foundation is dedicated to supporting charities, with a special focus on children. This year, Make-A-Wish the Netherlands takes centre stage. “Star chef Tim Golsteijn prepares a five-course dinner. There will be lots of entertainment and music. Thanks to no less than six stages, there is something for everyone. In addition, people can bid on beautiful items in the auction. Equine artist Jos Dirix provides several stunning works of art for the auction and Annelou auctions off an item for charity”, reveals Albert.

Magical location
Annelou can hardly wait for that weekend in September: “Our guests cannot wait either. I am almost flooded with applications for the foal auction. The official ticket sale has yet to start, but many foreign visitors have already reserved their flight tickets and VIP tickets. We have already sold fifty VIP tickets. It’s the talk of the town. Of course, this is also thanks to the remarkable location. By now, I find myself at the Palace quite often. No matter how many times you drive up here, it keeps being special. It is a magical place. Queen Wilhelmina lived at Soestdijk and the palace has a rich history with horses. On the grounds you will find a tea house that was gifted by the Japanese emperor to Wilhelmina. How cool is that?! Truly remarkable. We wanted to organise something unique, something our breeders and clients have not experienced before. Thanks to the collaboration with Royal Polo at the Palace and the Soestdijk Palace, we will not only meet these expectations, but even exceed them!”

The foal auction on Friday is freely accessible. Would you like to attend the auction from the exclusive terrace next to the arena? VIP tickets for the Elite Foal Auction cost €140, – excl. VAT and can be ordered via For an exclusive experience on both Friday and Saturday, visitors can opt for a combi ticket. This gives you access to both events for the special price of €200, – excl. VAT. Are you looking for an even more extensive package during the Royal Polo weekend or the VIP Gala Night? Visit the Royal Polo website. Here you will find more information on the various packages available.

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