Luis Estrada, Santa María Polo Club’s Vice-President, explains to POLO+10 what the guests can expect during this year’s Land Rover International Polo Tournament and what makes the Santa María Polo Club so special.

POLO+10: How did you get involved with Santa María Polo Club? Which is your current role as vice-president?
I got involved with the club about 12 years ago, as I was part of the staff of the Group that owned the Club, although before I had been dedicated to performing some activities on the premises. As a Vice-President of the club, I am in the organization committee for August’s international Tournament and I direct every commercial and marketing operations.

In addition, I am a part of the Club’s committee on everything referring to sportive management, members, expansion strategies, communication… at the same time, I am the Executive President of Premium Sports and Marketing, a company of the Group specialized in sports marketing, events and communication.

POLO+10: Which are your expectations for the new edition of the Land Rover International Polo Tournament?
Undoubtedly, this season is going to be the best one of our history. We will host 32 teams, 12 in High Handicap (22 goals per team) and we will be honoured with the presence of the best polo players in the world. It will be a spectacular season, 35 days of great polo. In addition, we will have our principal area Los Pinos, opened every day with more bars, restaurants and shops than ever, as well as events and parties during the whole season. We will also extend our daily opening hours, so that every visitor can enjoy our facilities all day long… and in the nighttime.

POLO+10: How do you believe that the Land Rover International Polo Tournament is positioned worldwide?
Honestly, I consider that it is Continental Europe’s most important tournament, with a sportive, organizational and facilities level that have nothing on the great UK or US tournaments. I would say that today, we hold the fourth place regarding relevance in the international circuit, after Argentina, UK and US.

POLO+10: Besides the highly competitive polo, which other entertainment options does the Club offer?
As I mentioned before, our facilities have become a destination for leisure and entertainment for all the summer, which go further than the sportive environment, which is the principal attraction. Our broad offer of restaurants, shops and daytime and nighttime entertainment is very complete, and we keep on improving. This year we are lucky to have the collaboration of a great catering company as Sodexo Prestige, and with great sponsors as Land Rover, Bvlgari, Turkish Airlines, EFG, Bacardi, etc. which will make everything more jolly and attractive.

POLO+10: Which do you think are the main points that the club has to position it in one of the best ones worldwide?
Three. One, our great level of organization and experience, second, the magnificent sportive and hospitality facilities, and third, the place, Sotogrande, a spectacular option for leisure with the perfect weather conditions.

POLO+10: Santa María, on the contrary to many important polo events maintains an „open doors“ policy to every person interested in experiencing polo from the sidelines, and you just charge a ticket in the finals, an amount donated to institutions. Could you tell us more about this initiative?
Polo in Santa María is a meeting point for the people on holiday in Sotogrande and their acquaintances, and we wish to maintain our „Open doors“ policy for everyone to enjoy high quality polo, for more people to know this fantastic sport and to create a unique leisure family destination.

POLO+10: Which are the plans after the high season in Santa María?
We are planning other events for autumn in collaboration with great European clubs, and possibly an important official event for European Polo.