POLO+10 interview with Pascual Sainz de Vicuña (+6), best polo player in Spain, who is at home at the polo club Dos Lunas in Sotogrande.

Interview: Klarina Pichler

POLO+10: Pascual, since when does your family own the polo club Dos Lunas, what is the idea behind it and how did the name originated?
Pascual: My parents bought the club in 2004 and their dreams came true with it. Dos Lunas is a centre for dressage and polo. Since her childhood, my mother Anunciada is excited about horses, now she lives all year in Sotogrande and has taken the dressage part.

In addition to our team Dos Lunas, the polo part houses three high goal teams during the polo season. This year there are Las Monjitas, RH and Lechuza Caracas with us. The really special thing in Dos Lunas is that every team is completely undisturbed from the other teams. Each of them has their own stables and pistas.

But I also have to say that we are very familiar together and all get along very well. Of course we are also benefit from each other that we play high goal matches together. Currently we are planning a third polo field as well as a further stable for a fifth polo team. The name Dos Lunas comes from our family emblem that shows two moons.

POLO+10: Do you have brothers and sisters?
Pascual: Yes I have two older sisters. One of my sisters is married with my team mate Martin Iturraspe (Pascual laughs). I am glad I have no brothers, because I surely have to argue about the best horses!

POLO+10: Tell us about your polo career, when did it start? And how did you get in contact with polo?
Pascual: When I was 15 years old I visited my cousins in Argentina, where I played polo for the first time and had a lot of fun. Back home in Madrid I went single-handedly to the polo club Puerta de Hierro which was just about the corner of our house. Just after one year I had a handicap of +1 and that was also the time my parents became aware of my new hobby.

POLO+10: What happened then? How was the rise of your handicaps? And since when did you know that you want to become a professional polo player?
Pascual: Actually, it was always my dream, but I finally decided it at the age of 18 when I had a handicap of +3. Anyway I started to study journalism. With 21 I achieved a handicap of +4, the jump from +4 to +5 was a bit difficult, but I managed it with 23. Since I am 25 I play with a handicap of +6 .

POLO+10: What do you want to achieve in your polo career?
Pascual: My ambition and my dream are to play the Argentine Open in Palermo.

POLO+10: What was your first tournament?
Pascual: That was here in Sotogrande, I was 15 and played the low goal level of the International Polo Tournament and we won the Copa de Bronze and the Copa de Plata.

POLO+10: So you have been playing in Sotogrande for 12 years now?
Pascual: Yes, exactly, the first year I played low goal and since that time always high goal.

POLO+10: What does your daily routine in Sotogrande looks like?
Pascual: The days here end up quite late because it’s very hot during the day. That’s why I start my day comfortably at 10 am, first go for a swim in the sea, eat a late lunch and then off to polo.

POLO+10: What is on your menu before a match?
Pascual: The night before usually meat, good proteins and on match day pasta!

POLO+10: What is your favourite tournament?
Pascual: La Cámara de Diputados.

POLO+10: Who is your idol?
Pascual: Gonzalito Pieres!

POLO+10: How is your year scaled related to polo?
Pascual: More or less 6 months in Spain and 6 months in Argentina. In Argentina I am with my uncle in „LA ESQUINA“. This is also the name of our team. In January I’m less addicted to polo and usually go skiing with my family and friends.

POLO+10: How does it feel for a polo player to make a penalty shot?
Pascual: You are absolutely concentrated. Some days you have a mind to hit the balls and you know that you score. Other days you think, oh God, how far away is this goal off!

POLO+10: Did you recognize a change in polo since you started playing?
Pascual: Absolutely. The game has become closer, previously it was more open. In addition, the teams are organized more professional today and the rivalry has increased. In the past all teams always went to the same parties. You always celebrated together.

POLO+10: What was the best moment for you in polo?
Pascual: That was in 2009 when we won the Copa de Oro with Gonzalito Pieres and in 2013 the tournament Republica Argentina.

POLO+10: What was the worst moment for you in polo?
Pascual: 2013 when we were in the final of the legendary “La Cámara de Diputados”. We lost in the extra chukka. If we had won, I would already have a handicap of 7 goals.

POLO+10: You also breed polo ponies in Spain and Argentina, is that your passion?
Pascual: Horse breeding is a passion, yes. The focus of our breeding organization is in Argentina, where we bring 20 foals up per year. We do embryo transfers. We select our mares and choose from the catalogue for each mare the appropriate stallion. This is a very creative process.

POLO+10: What is the name of your best mare?
Pascual: It’s Salsa in Argentina and here in Spain it’s Marucha.

POLO+10: What does Marucha means?
Pascual: Blabbermouth! Haha!

POLO+10: Who is your biggest support in polo?
Pascual: My father, no doubt.

POLO+10: Who organizes the team Dos Lunas?
Pascual: My brohter-in-law Martin Iturraspe, my father Alvaro Sainz de Vicuña, my great-uncle Nacho Domecq and I.

POLO+10: What’s your team spirit and what makes you so popular to the audience?
Pascual: Fighting! I just think up our fighting spirit and our family atmosphere is what makes us popular with the public.

POLO+10: When do the preparations for Sotogrande starts?
Pascual: Middle of May the horses start with step training for about 40 days. It is particularly important to bring the horses slowly to the upcoming exertive season. I start to play them in the middle of July.

POLO+10: This year, Dos Lunas has proved its strength in the final of the Copa de Plata against Cambiasos Team Valiente. In the beginning of the last chukka you had a tie and unfortunately lost 11-13 when Adolfito took out his fastest horses again. What is the secret of your success? And why did you fail?
Pascual: In the team we are absolutely vouch for each other. That means, when someone is on the ball, all working for him to get him free space or to give him rear cover. The big difference is that we had about seven horses for each player and Valiente had 20 and more.

POLO+10: Just a few little questions to your person: When is your birthday?
Pascual: 25.09., I was born in 1986.

POLO+10: Describe yourself with 3 words:
Pascual: Generous, quiet, idealist.

POLO+10: If you were an animal, what would you be?
Pascual: A horse.

POLO+10: Do you have a girlfriend?
Pascual:… No.

POLO+10: What is your favorite food?
Pascual: Asado!

POLO+10: What was one craziness that you made in your life?
Pascual: (laughs) You do follies, but not telling about them!

POLO+10: What kind of music are you listening to?
Rock music

POLO+10: What movie do you like?
Pascual: The Thomas Crown Affair

POLO+10: What is your next dream travel destination?
Pascual: California

POLO+10: What is one thing you want to do in life?
Pascual: In an old age I want to say, that there was nothing I would like to do and didn’t do it.

POLO+10: Ok, that’s it! It was a pleasure to meet you!
Pascual: Thanks for the interview, it was fun!