Summer polo season gets under way this weekend at Sotogrande

12 06 2009

IMG_2961 (Press release) The Summer Season at Santa María Polo Club begins its journey today towards the 38th edition of its International Tournament, the epitome of the polo world’s summer, to be played in August. The first of the season’s tournaments is the Andrés Parladé, with five teams taking part. Match schedule:

5-goal Tournament

Friday, June 12

18.00 – Field II – Woodchester v. Kingsland

19.00 – Field II – Santa María v. Dehesa Ahojiz

Saturday, June 13

18.00 – Field I – Quarter finals

Sunday, June 14

11.30 – Field I – Semifinals

12.30 – Field I – Final


Spring Polo Season at Santa María

23 03 2009

IMG_2570 (Press Release) A new Spring Season comes to Santa María Polo Club with news that promise excitement and special interest. The season starts this week with the Conde Guaqui Memorial Tournament on March 27, 28 and 29 and is followed by the José Ignacio Domecq Memorial on April 3, 4, 8 and 9. But the main event this time is the Doña María de las Mercedes Memorial that takes place on April 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19,  promoted by the foundation of that name and CEA (Business Confederation of Andalucía in its Spanish acronym).

The three tournaments are established in memory of distinguished people: the Count of Guaqui, Don Alfredo de Goyeneche, was President of the Spanish Olympic Committee from 1998 to 2002 and a consummate rider and polo enthusiast; Don José Ignacio Domecq, as good a wine maker as polo player, played up to a 5-goal handicap and at age 72 still held a 2; and lastly, Doña María de las Mercedes, mother of King Juan Carlos, who was passionate and knowledgeable about horses, as well as closely linked to Andalucía. The foundation that carries her name, in conjunction with CEA, decided this year to establish a competition in her honour and thus becomes one of the more significant events of the Spring Season.

IMG_2755 Eight teams of 8- to 10-goal handicaps, coming from England, Argentina, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden and Spain, will be playing at the Los Pinos grounds. One of the aims of this season is to attain, over time, a level similar to that of the Summer Season in terms of players and teams, while distinguished personages are expected to be among the spectators. And among the factors that will help to reach this objective is the weather, considerably more benign than in the rest of Europe at this time of year, and another good reason not to miss the spectacle, which is also free.

The sponsors this new Spring Season are Nespresso, Taittinger Champagne and Bodegas Julián Chivite, as official products; Sotogrande as collaborative entity; the CEA, the Junta de Andalucía’s Council for Tourism, Trade and Sport, as special contributors; El Mundo, Telva, Expansión / Fuera de Serei; SUR, La Revista de Sotogrande and Spend In as associate media.

It is worth remembering, too, that Santa María Polo Club has attained particular relevance within the World Polo Tour (WPT). International rankings of players and tournaments are categorized into four main levels: Grand Slam, Championship Cup, WPT Cup and Challenge Cup. To determine each tournament’s category, the following factors are taken into account: its handicap, its location, organization, number of teams, level of play and spectators. The tournaments organized by Santa María Polo Club have reached new categories thanks in large part to the main grounds at Los Pinos, which were inaugurated last summer. Thus, the Gold Cup at Sotogrande has become a Grand Slam event, at the same level as the British Open at Cowdray Park and the US Open at Palm Beach. The Silver Cup is now a WPT Championship Cup, at the same level as the Queen’s Cup at the Guards Polo Club and the US Gold Cup. All of this means recognition of the work being carried out by Santa María Polo Club, which is determined to become one of the best clubs in the world.

(Santa María Polo Club website:


31 08 2008

AHMIBAH Having won both the Bronze and the Silver Cups at Sotogrande, Bahar Jefri’s team also took the Gold Cup home in one of the tournament’s most exciting matches against Ayala, last year’s Gold Cup winners, yesterday at Los Pinos.  In front of a milling crowd of several hundreds, Patron Prince Bahar, Valerio Zubiaurre, Iñaki Laprida and Pablo MacDonough worked together consistently as a team, though Pablito well deserved the Best Tournament Player award he received at the prize-giving ceremony afterwards. David ‘Pelón’ Stirling, excellently though he played with Santiago Laborde, Íñigo Zóbel and Gastón Urturi, was simply outplayed by their rivals. The final result was a really close 11 – 10 for Bahar’s men.  For a chukker-by-chukker look at the match and some more photos Read the rest of this entry »


29 08 2008

POLO  28.08.08 TO SORT 058 In the first of the semi-finals at Los Pinos, Las Monjitas,were no match for Ayala, who are defending their high-goal championship of last year, and who won by 10 goals to 5 in a match that was too unequal for a semi-final. Íñigo Zobel’s (2) team, with Gastón Urturi (5), David ‘Pelón’ Stirling (8) and Santiago Laborde (5) on board, were far superior. Pelón was the man of the match, scoring most of the goals, defending every rival’s attack and playing passing shots that would seem to deserve another point to his handicap. Las Monjitas, with patron Camilo Bautista (0) at their head and Eduardo Novillo (9), P. Sáinz de Vicuña (3) and A. Díaz Alberdi (8), tried hard to get past the excellent defensive wall put up by Zóbel’s men. It was an impossible task. To read about the second match and photos…

Read the rest of this entry »


17 01 2008


(Click on photos to enlarge)

In November and most of December, Santa María Polo Club took a break from their frenetic summer activity as far as organizing tournaments is concerned, though these went on well into October. That does not mean, though, that there was no polo in the area; far from it. San Bernabé, in Algeciras, hosted the Iridike San Bernabé Tournament, which was somewhat different to other more usual stick and ball competitions. To start with, the playing surface was on sand and on a much smaller pitch. Then the teams were only two per side, and the ball they tried to put through the opposition’s posts was larger and made of leather. The final was played over four chukkas but the rest of the matches had only two. No doubt about it: it was different. Probably because these players, who had been active throughout the summer, were itching to get back on the field.

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Five teams took part in this unusual event, of which the final was played on December 2nd – a day with temperatures more typical of a summer weekend, admittedly. Final victory went to the team made up of Gonzalo Muñoz Escassi and Ben Wesserling and, naturally, the prize giving was followed by a scrumptious asado attended by most of the players, though without the host, Chiqui Recio.

©Revista Miradas del Sur 2008


17 01 2008


Three years with the same team. Three years as winners of the Argentine Open. La Dolfina, with Adolfo Cambiaso, Lolo Castagnola, Lucas Monteverde and Mariano Aguerre aboard, is rapidly becoming one of the best teams in the history of the game. They met Ellerstina in the final of 114th Open, who had just come from winning at Tortugas and Hurlingham and was naturally after Triple Crown. The team with the Pieres brothers, Facundo and Gonzalo, and the McDonoughs, Matías and Pablo, were itching to make history, too, and will probably do so in the future, but this time they came across the experience of a veteran competitor whom very few dare to outclass. It took a lot of hard work for La Dolfina to beat the Z team, but an extra chukker saw Lucas Monteverde put in the golden goal: 16-15 to Cambiaso’s men. And the big crowd went wild on the stands at the Cathedral of Polo. And at the palenques, another number 10, Diego Armando Maradona, celebrated La Dolfina’s victory in the Open, too. Read the rest of this entry »


13 09 2007
















We are very grateful to Salvador Moreno, of Miradas del Sur, who shot these magnificent pictures during the Gold Cup Final at Tres Rosas, Jimena, in August.