The Real Federación Española de Polo was founded in 1972. Since that time to the present day the Federation is responsible for enhancing, organising and promoting polo in Spain.
Jerez de la Frontera was the first polo city in Spain and the first polo club “Jerez Polo Club” was founded in 1872.
Text:Luis Benjumea Llorente
Luis Benjumea Llorente has been a rider in different sports related to horses; polo, show jumping, Spanish dressage and horse racing. His family have always been closely linked to horses. He has been the Sports Director of the Real Federación Española de Polo and Manager of the Spanish Association of Polo Pony Breeders since 2009. He has won the Bronze Cup and Silver Cup in Sotogrande for two years and the National Spanish Championship on several occasions.
Regarding ladies polo and due to the increasing number of women players situated in Spain, the Real Federación Española de Polo (RFEP) established the first Ladies Polo Tournament in 2007.
Presently the Sports Council have established a program for women playing polo which has now been introduced to other sports federations. Although Polo is a sport where women compete at the same level as men, the RFEP has established a ruling committee exclusively for women players.
One of the first people to promote Spanish ladies polo was Eva Campos, the woman behind the Club de Polo Ampurdan and organiser of The Spanish National Tournament amongst many other women’s competitions.
As I mentioned before polo is one of the few sports where women compete against men under the same rules. The establishment of women’s handicap has not yet been inaugurated in Spain, however, clubs, where tournaments are played, have been authorised to apply the ladies handicap conversion.
The idea behind the conversion system is to readjust female polo player’s handicaps to meet other countries regulations. Since very few women players have a handicap 1 or more out of 102 players registered in RFEP, this has resulted in a large difference between players with the same handicap.
There have been seven ladies tournaments in the calendar of RFEP in the 2015 season. This year’s Spanish National tournament was the principal event with six teams participating at Sotogrande Polo Club.
If one has to mention a club where ladies polo play an outstanding part, it is the Club de Polo Ampurdan http://clubdepoloampurdan.com/. Eva Campos and her team organise the most important ladies polo tournaments aside from the Spanish National Tournament.
This year and for the second year running, La Mata del Herrador Polo Club http://matadelherrador.com/, also joined in organising ladies polo tournaments including the Andalucía Ladies Tournament and International Ladies Cup.
The conversion chart for handicaps is as follows:
CHART FOR CONVERSION OF LADIES HANDICAP IN SPAIN
Absolute HCP Ladies HCP