The Sotogrande Gold Cup Becomes a Grand Slam Title
The World Polo Tour (WPT) provides an international scale on which to rank players based on their success throughout the year. The players are awarded points based on their involvement and successes across the top tournaments included in the WPT ranking system.
In its 2016 updates, WPT has announced that The Sotogrande Gold Cup, the third and most prestigious trophy of The Santa Maria International Tournament, has become part of the Grand Slam category. This is the second highest ranked category on the international polo circuit, behind the Masters category, made up of the three Argentine Triple Crown series titles. Joining this category raises the Sotogrande Gold Cup’s status, recognising it globally as one of the most important and sought after titles on the circuit.
There are now three titles in the Grand Slam category:
- The US Open Polo Championship, played at the International Polo Club of Palm Beach, Florida. This tournament takes place March 30 –24 April and is of 26 goal handicap level
- The British Open for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup, played at Cowdray Park Polo Club from June 22 – 17 July with a 22 goal handicap
- The Sotogrande Gold Cup, played at Santa María Polo Club, Spain between 14 – 28 August. This tournament also holds a 22 goal handicap
The Sotogrande Gold Cup is now worth 150 points for each winner, raised from the 125 points that it earned victors last year. Although still behind the US and UK Opens on points value (worth 250 and 200 respectively), this is still a big step for Santa Maria Polo Club as they are celebrated as joining the international greats of the IPC and Cowdray Park.
The WPT rankings are reviewed at the beginning of each year, taking in to account the following aspects:
- The handicap of the tournament
- The organisation of the event
- The number of teams competing
- The number of spectators the event attracts
- The level of international players involved
- Where the event takes place