The Inventory Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Netherlands contains ICH of which the communities, groups or individuals involved have written a safeguarding plan. Those plans are reviewed by an independent review committee. Every three years an evaluation of the safeguarding takes place.


The Short Track Harness Race is an annual race in July on the Kruisweg in the centre of Hoofddorp. The public comes not only for the exciting races, which are free to enter, but also for the conviviality with each other, a nice drink and for some to make a bet. There is a lot of conviviality and togetherness among young and old during the event. Various types of entertainment are organised too, for during the breaks.A special part of the short track harness race in Hoofddorp is the blessing of the horses by the priest of the St. John the Baptist Church.

On the evening before the race, for the group of sponsors who qualify, the lots are drawn at Hotel De Beurs. A draw takes place to determine which sponsors are allocated a horse.A short track harness race is a knock-out race between a maximum of 24 horses, held on a sand-covered street. The track has a maximum length of 310 metres and is fenced off with crowd barriers. For the race a starting and finishing system and a sound system are used to announce the results to the public. Cash and honour prizes will be available for the six best-placed horses.After the final, the horse and driver are honoured on the track, after which the official prize-giving ceremony takes place in Hotel De Beurs. The sponsors of the first four horses to arrive will receive a gift.

Betting on horses is a fixed part of the short track. The amount won depends on the stakes, the total stakes and the number of people who have made the same bet. Nowadays animal welfare is important, there is a heat protocol, a veterinarian examines the horses, and it is visible to the public that the horses are treated respectfully. In 2019, the Short Track Harness Race Hoofddorp has started to pay attention to sustainability, on the race day, among other things, green electricity was used from the St. John the Baptist Church.


The organiser of the harness race is the Stichting Kortebaandraverij Hoofddorp (Hoofddorp Short Track Harness Race Foundation), whose board consists of six volunteers.

Most spectators come from the Haarlemmermeer region, especially the real Haarlemmermeer people, they are historically involved with the horses. Quite a few of the trainers and drivers come from, or work in, the Haarlemmermeer. The harness race also has an international flavour, as trainers regularly come over from Belgium and Germany to take part in this circuit.

The Stichting Kortebaandraverij Hoofddorp has a large group of volunteers who help with the construction and deconstruction of the event. During the event, volunteers can be found everywhere: in the VIP-tent, catering, and the bouncy castle to guide the children. Both young and old work together to make the event a great success.

The volunteers are provided with a snack and a drink, and a volunteer evening is organised to thank them.


The first reports of races in Hoofddorp date from 1850. The prohibition was in full swing, and farmers were boasting to each other on Sundays: 'My horse is faster than yours, I bet I can reach the pub sooner'. In the years 1871 and later, horse races were held 'at the Hoofddorp', and in 1880 the Harddraverij-Vereeniging was founded, after which it was decided in May 1881 that only harness races would be held in Hoofddorp. In the twenties of the last century the harness races were held at the municipal sports field in Hoofddorp. These were also organised by the Harddraverij-Vereeniging. A message from October 1930 shows that there were little enthusiasm and funds to hold races and there were doubts whether the association still had reason to exist. From 1939, harness races took place again on a regular basis.

Due to a lack of a good management, the Hoofddorp Short Track subsequently regularly disappeared from the scene. Since the late 1960s, the organisation has been in the hands of the Oranjevereniging Hoofddorp and in 2010 the current Stichting Kortebaandraverij Hoofddorp was set up. Since 2011 the annual Short Track Harness Race is held again.

Throughout the years, three core values have always remained: competing for first place, betting, and togetherness.

Technology and animal welfare have changed over time, however. In the 1960s, an electronic starting system was introduced and, since 2010, a finish registration device. There are also rules and protocols that give maximum attention to animal welfare. The short track race will not start if no veterinarian is present, and the whip has been abolished.


Safeguard actions

  •  In the coming period, the board wishes to visit the highest classes of primary schools in Hoofddorp to inform pupils about the Short Track Race. Kortebaandraverij Hoofddorp aims to involve and develop the Historical Museum. By means of a brochure, film material and quiz questions, we want to inform the pupils and try to make them enthusiastic. Those who visit the Short Track Harness Race will receive a small gift from the board.
  • Children who ride a riding school horse receive extra attention, because they are already interested in dealing with horses.
  • Representatives of the business community are informed through a visit to the Lions clubs, the Rotary, MeerBusiness, Enterprising Hoofddorp and so on. On these evenings, we show the essence of the Short Track using film footage and personal, enthusiastic stories from visitors.
  • Knowledge transfer within the board continues to take place via scripts. Board members will indicate in good time when they will be stepping down, so that work can be done well in advance to find a new board member with sufficient knowledge and experience.
  • By working together with the Historical Museum Haarlemmermeer, a start will be made with mapping out the history.
  • Within the municipality of Haarlemmermeer and within Hoofddorp, there will be more cooperation with other archivists and historical associations with the aim of exchanging and increasing knowledge.
  • More cooperation with the church, with sponsors and with the First Aid by consulting more with these parties and by doing things together.
  • Sponsors are offered drinks twice a year and more attention are given to our sponsors in local media and social media.
  • By working with a very large number of sponsors, the risk of financial dependence on a small number of (main) sponsors is limited as much as possible and the support base is increased.
  • By making young people enthusiastic (through education and promotion) and assigning them tasks for the Short Track, the likelihood is greater that they will ultimately want to take a seat in the organisation.
  • Directors' departures must be reported in good time, so that a good replacement can be found, and a familiarisation process can be started.
  • New residents are informed as much as possible about the Short Track Harness Race Hoofddorp through the local press, social media and associations and the new residents are involved in the harness race by, for example, giving a presentation at community centres.
  • During the event, a VR sulky for the youth is started, so they can experience what the sport is all about. The school youth will be made aware of this during the visit to the various groups.
  • By keeping in close contact with the process managers for events of the municipality, we stay abreast of the adjustments/changes in the field of legislation and regulations.
  • Twice a year, consultations are held with the relevant officials.
  • At least twice a year a sponsor evening is organised, a newsletter is sent out and invitations are sent out to participate.



Stichting Kortebaandraverij Hoofddorp