Jul 27, 2023


Elite Foal Auction Borculo and Royal Polo at the Palace bring the best foals and polo combinations to the Soestdijk Palace on the 15th, 16th and 17th of September. Needless to say, we can hardly wait for the first foal to fall under the gavel, but that weekend has so much more to offer to horse enthusiasts! Albert Hakkers, chairman of Royal Polo at the Palace will fill you in on the details. 

How did you come up with idea to found Royal Polo at the Palace? 
“I lived in England for a long period of time. I have a background in the corporate world and when I worked at Microsoft, I was introduced to horse polo at Windsor. I absolutely loved it! When I moved to Apeldoorn, I noticed the big field at Paleis het Loo and thought to myself: oh, this has so much potential! I wanted to do charity work. At this phase of life, it is time to give back. In 2017 a few of us initiated Royal Polo at the Palace. The first edition was good, the second even better. Due to the renovation at Paleis het Loo, we wanted to move the event to the Soestdijk Palace. Unfortunately, the covid pandemic hit. This will be our first edition at Soestdijk. We have dusted off the playbooks and it’s finally going to happen, we cannot wait!” 

Do you have a background in horses? 
“I hail from the eastern part of the Netherlands and grew up with horses. I never picked up riding, but Nicole Plas, one of the people with whom I am organizing this event, does own horses herself. My business background helps me to add the lifestyle component to the event. We mix the styles of Royal Ascot horse race and polo. In other words, a fusion of the beautiful intense polo of the Argentines and the sophisticated crowd. There are a limited number of occasions in the Netherlands to wear a hat, so women love it!’  

How’s the collaboration with Elite Foal Auction Borculo? 
“Fantastic! We work closely together in organising the event and complement each other well. Obviously, we represent two entirely different worlds: foals and polo. We do have overlap in our audience, but polo, for example, is a stand-alone discipline that does not fall under the governance of the national sports federation. That’s why this collaboration is so much fun, I am learning a lot. To get a better impression, I recently went to a foal auction. I thought it was fantastic!” 

What may visitors of Elite Foal Auction Borculo expect during the auction? 
“Besides the auction, visitors can also visit the Pearlcard Luxury Fair. It’s a true experience. You will see so many beautiful things here: jewellery, handbag, scarves, hats, but you can also indulge in the latest innovations of cars, books, wines, art, beauty care and much more. You can really make a day out of it since it is also possible to visit the palace and there is a scenic walking route.” 

 What else may we look forward to that weekend? 
“On Saturday and Sunday, we’ve got the Pearlcard Cup, four international polo teams are set to vie for this prestigious trophy. Guests will be pampered with delicious bites and drinks prepared by our chef. The Pearlcard Luxury Fair is open throughout the weekend. On Saturday evening there is a special benefit gala.” 

What’s does the gala entail? 
“Make-A-Wish the Netherlands takes the centre stage this year. A girl who was once severely ill and made a full recovery, is present to sing together with Pia Douwes. Fashion designer Addy van den Krommenacker will showcase special dresses and 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 an auction. Equine artist Jos Dirix provides several stunning works of art for it. I also really like the fact that Annelou de Man will auction an item for charity. In short, it promises to be a very special weekend!”

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 annelou@veulenveilingborculo.nl. 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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