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 Saint Jacob Horse Market is held on the Wednesday of the week of July 25th. On that day between 70 and one hundred horses and ponies are brought to the market in the morning. There, in the Kerkstraat, they stand on long ropes and can be inspected until noon. At 10:30 AM the inspection of the horses and ponies begins, by a horse inspector from Zwijndrecht. They are divided into three categories. Prizes are awarded for the most beautiful horses. During the market there are all kinds of side-activities. Visitors can make a round tour with a horse tram, Riding Association Beyaert organises show jumping competitions and Sleigh Club Glijen en Rijen organises ring tilting competitions. There is a street fair in the centre, there are craft demonstrations and street vendors show their abilities. There is a cycle race in the afternoon. At three stalls people can buy lots. An equestrian show programme takes place in the evening and music sounds at many places. Many people want to be present when the winners of the lottery are disclosed.



The market is supported by the thousands of (former) residents of Alblasserdam and their regional neighbours. Horse owners take their horses to the market to have them inspected. The Alblasserdam Horse-riding Centre, the National Riding Association Beyaert and the Sleigh Club Glijen en Rijen are closely involved in the organisation of the market. The local bars and restaurants gladly offer their cooperation to the smooth operation of the market day, of course. The Stichting Sint Jacobus Paardenmarkt (Saint Jacob Horse Market Foundation) ensures that the market can be organised again each year.



The oldest reference to the Saint Jacob Horse Market dates from December 27th, 1434. In the first centuries the market was usually held at July 25th, the name day of Saint Jacob. After 1883 the market took place on the Wednesday in the week of July 25th. For a long time the horses in the meadow area of Holland, where Alblasserdam is situated, were important for bringing in the hay. Long before July 25th the hay was stacked high at the farms. The horses then stood idly in the meadow and could be sold. The history of the Horse Market knows practically no gaps. For several years no market was held because of a very contagious disease and World War II. After the war the need for working horses decreased rapidly. In 1959 mayor Looy established a Horse Market Committee, together with a group of notables, to keep the market in existence. In 1973 the Stichting Sint Jacobus Paardenmarkt was created. Thanks to the organised side-activities the continuity of the market is guaranteed. Now only riding horses and ponies for sports are to be seen. The Horse Inspection has been given a prominent place. Although the Horse Market attracts more and more visitors, it is generally a problem for the organisers to make ends meet. Specifically for collecting sponsor money, the Friends of the Horse Market Foundation was established in 1999. It seems that the characteristics of the market are more and more based on the meeting between the residents and the former residents of Alblasserdam.



Stichting Sint Jacobus Paardenmarkt Alblasserdam
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