Action returns to Sotogrande this weekend as a new edition of the classic Iberian Polo Tour kicks off. The series, which was first played on 2011, is composed of three tournaments played over three weekends. This year’s competition will see players from all over the globe compete.
The first championship was played in 2001, with the same format as will be played this year,” shares Pelayo Berazadi, one of today’s most outstanding Spanish players and one of the founders of the Iberian Polo Tour. “I spent my winters in Sotogrande looking at the fields and the weather and thinking that we had to do something. The first edition was played between Sotogrande and Sevilla, but from 2017 onwards it has been played solely at Sotogrande every December. The Iberian Polo Tour is now a fixed part of the calendar, and the idea is to continue growing every year, inviting more players to take part and forming a longer season.”
The brilliant Iberian Polo Tour is just days away from its first weekend fixture, and there are high expectations for this year’s event. “The aim is for the Iberian Polo Tour to continue growing, and to show that this is a competition that has an increasing number of players and teams competing every season,” continues Berazadi. “The objective is to offer a fun and competitive level of polo on some of the best fields in Europe, at a time of year when there is little polo on. We are not competing with the season in Argentina because that is the home of the best polo in the world, but we do want to create a parallel season that offers a comfortable and accessible alternative for players in Europe.”
The mild climate in southern Spain at this time of year is an obvious advantage when promoting polo in December. Furthermore, the tourism that is generated in the area during the holidays is something that can benefit everyone. “The locals have welcomed us with open arms,” says Berazadi. “The fields are used, jobs are generated, new horses can be tried; everyone benefits, directly or indirectly. I think that the whole area is very keen on the idea that polo in Sotogrande become an annual occurrence, and not just an activity which happens over the summer months. We have the support of the locals, not just the polo players, but also the restaurants, hotels, clubs, and shops. A few years back polo was played all year round, and that is the format we want to bring back.”
“This series is going to have good fields, fun tournaments, a friendly atmosphere, and, hopefully, great weather,” concludes Berazadi.“We already have a minimum of four teams confirmed per cup, with several players from England, France, Argentina, Ireland, Scotland, Ecuador, Russia, and of course, Spain. Beyond the sporting goals of the tournament, we want everyone to have a good time, enjoy the area, and take advantage of the magnificent installations we have here. The Iberian Polo Tour is about polo, but there will also be several social events, such as cocktails, asados, and parties.”
IBERIAN POLO TOUR 2019 – FIXTURE:
*Sotoestates Cup: December 6-8, at Santa María Polo Club.
*Casa Fagliano Cup + Kids Polo: December 13-15, at Ayala Polo Club.
*Finca Monasterio Cup: December 20-22, at Ayala Polo Club.
- X. Gzlz Quijano 0
- D. Deynneko 0
- C. Chaves 3
- P. Berazadi 5
- A. Dabell -1
- A. Gariador 0
- S. McCraith 2
- M. Amieva 4
ROSBIF POLO TEAM
- A. Naylor -1
- J. Connolly 2
- J. Le Hardy 4
- T. Small 2
RED CHARM / ESPERANZA
- C. Fonquerne – Frank 0
- JM. Infiesta 0
- R. Torreguitar 3
- E. Grahn 3 6 P