In 2008 de number of members doubled, caused by decreasing the contribution and a number of polo players who were getting interested in the sport. Polocrosse is played in 4 different regions in Holland; South-west, Middle, East and North.
The board of the dutch polocrosse association decided to do things different to promote the sport. In the years before we have done 100 of demoâ€™s and clinics; everybody liked the sport, but was not keen enough to become a member. That is why we decided to organize 3 tournaments on the different regions in Holland; to do locale promotion of the sport by inviting local media (newspapers, television) and promote the sport to locale horse riders to participate the tournament.
The second one was in August in the South-East part of Holland. This was organised together with the Belgian polocrosse players. Desmond Phelan was invited to come over and coach us. A lot of local people were involved with the organization or sponsoring and also a lot of people came to watch. Also the Belgian Unfortunately the weather was not that good and the field got to slippery, but Desmond gave us good game tactics by using a board.
The last Dutch tournament was in September in the North-East part; the Dutch Open. It was the 3th time this took place. Like the years before the German players came, but also this year the French came! Saturday the preliminaries were held in 3 categories A, B and C. The C-category was won by Holland C.Â They ended just above the very good playing French Juniors and a Mix Team of players from Germany, Belgium and Holland.
In the B-category the Dutch B2-team became second behind the French Junior B team. The other Dutch B-team won only their last game against Stelingen and became fourth in the B-poule.
But the most important games were in A-category. The Dutch team (Jochem Elsinga, Florien Luitse and Fleur Bartels) had beaten Kananohe from Germany (winner Dutch Open 2007) on Saturday. On Sunday the match against the French was won by 7-4.
And so Holland won the Dutch Open Polocrosse Tournament 2008.
Best male no. 1: Andreas Rieger (Germany)
Best male no. 2: Jochem Elsinga (Holland)
Best male no. 3: Bruno Wallet (France)
Best female no. 1: Alexandra Deurinck (France)
Best female no. 2: Joanne Szezesny (France)
Best female no. 3: Jessica Deurinck (France)
Best international debutant: Mathilde Bizet (France)
Best horse-rider combination: Brigitte van de Hoef with Dribbel (Holland)
Best horse: Cimarron (owner Fleur Bartels)
This season we had two tournaments in Germany. This first one was at German club Stelingen. Everything was good organized and everybody had a great time. The competition was also good and Holland became 2nd, 3rd and 4th of 8 teams. Also the German Kananohe club organized for the first time a tournament. This tournament was also very good organized; we had a swimming pool party, so everybody had a lot of fun. Together with the Belgian players we played with 3 teams and became 1ste, 4th and 6th of the 7 teams.
We also went to French to have a trainings weekend up there at their new accommodation. The Friday before Holland had to play against French in the European soccer competition. We were very lucky the Dutch won. It was a great weekend with the Hensons and the French players.
The highlight of the 2008 season was the EU-challenge in Kent and the test match UK-Australia. The organisation was very good, the horses were great (thanks to the horse owners!), the landscape was beautiful, the test matches were thrilling to see and even the sun was shining! A week before the challenge Jochem Elsinga came to Holland to go to the university here. He played polocrosse whole his live in Zambia. Thanks to him and the wonderful horses we were riding, we won the B-poule and even almost beat the Irish who got first in the A-poule.
The Dutch polocrosse association made a plan in 2008; grow in width and in height. So everybody is welcome to play, do a great thing with your horse (doesnâ€™t matter what kind of horse) and have a great weekend in a nice atmosphere. But get also the playing level higher by more competition, improving our horses and international coached. We will follow this line for the next years!