Taking into account events and queries which are plaguing international polo at the moment, and after several meetings with teams and patrons who regularly play at Sotogrande, Santa Maria Polo Club has decided that their highest rated tournaments, played in August, will be marked at 20-goals.
The level is considered to be very competitive. This is the club’s response to problems faced in the polo world, but the level is still high enough to allow for the sporting challenges usual at Santa Maria, and to allow polo to continue developing in Spain. The highlights of the season are the traditional Silver Cup and the prestigious Gold Cup.
“The club’s objective is, as always, to continue improving year after year, and continue giving players, teams, patrons and every organisation, big or small, a fantastic place to play polo,” state the representatives at Santa Maria Polo Club. “Our goal will always be the same; we are just keeping up with the times. We think that high-goal polo is going through an international crisis, and we are adapting to the demands of the market. We have spoken to the high-goal patrons who regularly play here, and they all suggested the level to go from 22-goals to 20-goals.”
Over the years we have seen fewer teams playing the high-goal around the world. In reference to this, the club adds: “We have seen what is happening around the world, where, for example, only four teams sign up to play the most important tournaments, or how, in England, only ten teams are playing the high-goal; before there used to be eighteen or twenty. We are trying to adjust to what is going on around us and working hard to come up with solutions.”
Another issue that has become central in polo is the difference in size between organisations. “The higher the level, the bigger the organisations – and it has become very difficult to compete with them,” continue representatives at Santa Maria Polo Club. “If we put the level up to 26-goals, it would be nearly impossible to compete with some teams. And at 22-goals, like in England, or as we previously had here, it isn’t much easier. In the medium-goal, however, there are more teams yet their chances of winning are greater.”
Like last year, Sotogrande is preparing for a great high-goal and a successful medium-goal. “We continue to attract many teams at the medium-goal level. It is as competitive as ever, and you never know who is going to come out on top. A different team wins each year, and that makes it exciting. This year we will have at least ten to twelve teams.”
Of course, Sotogrande’s success is not only a reflection of what occurs on the field. The club highlights the following attractions: “Big organisations choose Sotogrande because of the ideal polo conditions. The fields are very good, as is the weather, and the beach is very family friendly. Everything is available for a month of polo, fun, and relaxation.”