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Historical season in Sotogrande

The most important tournament in continental Europe ended with the triumph of team Valiente led by the outstanding player Adolfo Cambiaso (+10), who together with patron Bob Jornayvaz (+1), Santiago Laborde (+5), and Santiago Torres (+6) took home all the trophies of this Spanish Triple Crown, having won as well the Copa de Bronce Isolas and the Copa de Plata Silex in the high handicap category.

This tournament made it possible to gather the five best polo players in the world, Adolfo Cambiaso (+10), Gonzalo (+10) and Facundo Pieres (+10), Juan Martín Nero (+10) and David Stirling (+10), together with the highest number of teams and matches up to this moment, and the quality of the games, grouped in three categories, all with an excellent polo level. The medium and the low handicap shined and surprised, and the young talents of international polo were also the protagonists in these two categories in Sotogrande.

“This is the best season of our history” was the most repeated statement among the members of the staff of the club as conclusion on this past tournament. Juan Luis Gil, Director of Santa María Polo Club: “The number of players of different nationalities, the quantity of matches, sometimes played simultaneously and the response from both spectators and players have beaten records this season, we have achieved our best season ever and once again, the Club is globally recognized as one of the best polo destinations.”

For more than a month, from July 25th to August 30th, Santa María Polo Club was opened every day so that members, polo aficionados and entire families could enjoy the facilities, not only as spectators of this fascinating sport, but also of the multiple entertainment options that the organizing team of the tournament carefully designed to meet the highest quality standards. A Shopping Village with great stores, art expositions, the restaurant Palenque that satisfied the most demanding gourmands, the After Polo leisure area to enjoy the nights after the matches, and a kids’ area for the small ones: this tournament was really the perfect option for ideal family vacations. The staff of Santa María Polo Club organized an entertaining tournament with great polo matches.

In the final match of the Copa de Oro Bulgari, Valiente, consisting of Adolfo Cambiaso (+10), Bob Jornayvaz (+1), Santiago Laborde (+5), and Santiago Torres (+6), and Ellerston, including Thomas Brodie (+1), Gonzalo Pieres (+10), Facundo Pieres (+10) and James Packer (+1) met. A huge crow of spectator followed the match and commented on the polo action with cheers and shouts, while the sun in Sotogrande was burning hot from the sky. Throughout the match Valiente impressed with very good defencemen, a fantastic Adolfo Cambiaso and with Santiago Torres always being on the spot. Facundo Pieres gave everything for Ellerston and continuously attacked Cambiaso to gain the ball and to score for his team.

Both teams played at high speed and gave everything to take home the coveted trophy. The match was very even and over a long period nobody could have said who would be the winner of the final match. After 15 seconds of play, Valiente took the lead. But the crowd did not have to wait long until Facundo Pieres scored and by this levelled the match. Another minute later Adolfo Cambiaso scored for Valiente, putting his team into lead and this was what the match most of the time would look like: Valiente, most scoring done by Adolfo Cambiaso, one goal ahead of Ellerston and Ellerston, mostly Facundo Pieres, scoring shortly afterwards and by this levelling the match. This made the match exciting until the last second.

As late as the final chukka, Valiente was able to pull clear of Ellerston. The chukka began with a 10-10 draw, but shortly afterwards Adolfo Cambiaso scored twice, for the first time extending the lead of his team to 12-10. Facundo Pieres tried to bring his team back into the match by closing the gap to 12-11. But now Adolfo Cambiaso was not willing to let go of the victory in sight. With breathtaking speed he played the ball over the whole playing field and scored two more times during the last two minutes of the match. With an end result of 14-11, Valiente became the winning team of the Copa de Oro Bulgari.

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