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Polo in Sotogrande goes from strength to strength as the reputation of the Santa Maria Polo Club grows. There are now ten polo grounds spread over three sites and it is the home of many tournaments including the Copa de Oro which runs in August. The climatic conditions here allow play throughout the whole year which makes it unique within Europe.

Protected by mature trees the pitches of the Santa Maria Polo Club are renowned as the best in the world due to their location: flanked on various sides by a tropical nursery, the Rio Guadiaro river (from which the grounds take their name), and vistas of blue skies, sun and distant mountains. Though many of us may not afford to play polo, watching is free and there's nowhere better to see a game than the famous Rio grounds, dubbed the ‘Wimbledon of polo pitches’.

Players come from all over Europe to play throughout the year in Andalucía’s matchless climate. August is the peak season, with as many as ten games a day on the five pitches. So intensive is the sport that each rider needs to stable between 7-10 horses to allow for a fresh change of four horses per game. For information of events please visit

If you are keen to give it a go yourself then there are various Polo Academies, such as JCM Polo, where you can learn to play the game and even buy ponies. People bringing their own horses can rent stables, bedding and fodder. For more information visit

Polo is a remarkably ancient sport, having originated in Persia in the sixth century BC and the ponies are mainly imported from Argentina and Uruguay, where they are bred for flexibility and swiftness. On a gorgeous sunny day nothing could be better than taking a picnic along to the grounds of the Santa Maria to witness this magnificent sport first hand.
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