We all know that polo and Sotogrande go hand-in-hand and this beautiful area boasts some of the best polo facilities in the world. One of the very first things to be created in Sotogrande was a polo field, opening in 1965 and known now as the Santa Maria Polo Club. Since then, polo in Sotogrande has gone from strength-to-strength and many other top class polo clubs, training centres and riding schools have opened in the area to support and train the new generation of polo players, as well as tourists who want to get to grips with this exciting, and challenging sport.
One of the newest arrivals is Polo Valley. This polo resort is dedicated to providing the authentic polo experience and has been welcoming professional players, polo ponies and total novices eager to learn since 2015. Unlike a traditional polo club, Polo Valley also offers accommodation and a clubhouse, alongside 150 stables and three polo fields. They offer everything from polo lessons, to livery services, excursions and events & weddings facilities, all bound up with the belief that anyone can play and enjoy the polo lifestyle.
From this belief, Polo Valley developed The Polo Challenge, the second of which was held this summer. The concept is to take six polo novices and within a period of just two weeks, take them to the level of professional polo players through an intense training programme. Culminating in a professional match on the championship polo fields at Santa Maria polo club.
The concept was launched in 2019, missed a year due to COVID, but came back with a vengeance in 2021. Six highly-driven individuals pushed themselves to the limit over two punishing, but exhilarating weeks at Polo Valley, supported by world-class polo professionals and coaches, personal trainers, nutritionists and physiotherapists. With four hours a day of polo, riding tuition and match practice, plus daily workshops on game tactics, rules and strategy and yoga and strength training, this is an intensive but highly effective training programme. The end result? Mastering the sport of Kings and putting on a great show for spectators in the final match.
La Reserva Club was proud to sponsor the Polo Challenge in 2019 and 2021, supporting polo excellence and encouraging more people to develop a love for this wonderful game. We were also delighted to welcome the players to The Beach during their rest day, to relax and recover, soak up the sun and enjoy lunch at our restaurant. It was wonderful to be able to reward them for their hard work in and out of the saddle and showcase another great thing to do in Sotogrande.
The Polo Challenge 2021 by Polo Valley was just one of the great polo events taking place this summer in Sotogrande. Top of the bill was the 50º Aniversario Torneo Internacional Polo by La Reserva Club, which marked the 50th anniversary of the creation of Sotogrande. This event lasted a month and brought some of the world’s top polo players to compete across three polo grounds in Sotogrande – Ayala Polo Club, Dos Lunas Polo Club and Santa Maria Polo Club. As well as the matches there was live music, a shopping village and activities to keep all the family happy, creating a very special atmosphere.
Find out more about the polo clubs of Sotogrande on our blog, or visit our website to find out what’s on at La Reserva Club.