Luis Benjumea, Sport Director of the Real Federación Española de Polo, spoke to PoloLine via Instagram Live on Sunday, to discuss issues surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, and to talk about the situation in Spain, one of the most affected countries in the world.


These are some of the issues he spoke about:


“This is very devastating, very sad, not only for polo but in terms of the social side, as well. I want send a big hug and embrace all those who are battling against this disease, and to the families who have lost loved ones to this virus.”


“I am currently in isolation with my family in Sevilla, working from home. Madrid is where the virus spread the most but the government issued a decree to widen the isolation, in order to restrict outings to a minimum.”


“In terms of polo, I’ve been in touch with all Federations and clubs. Activities are extremely restricted; they are only allowed to feed the horses and move them once in a while. The only ones who are allowed to be in contact with them are their owners. It’s about using common sense; at the moment, we won’t have a season, so everything has to be done slowly.”


“We cancelled tournaments – Santa María Polo Club, Trafalgar, Cataluña – and we are following the instructions issued by authorities. The borders are closed – especially those with Portugal and France, so horse traffic is not allowed.”


“We have to talk, and get involved with all Federations and Associations. You can’t make plans because this changes everyday. In Spain, we follow the rules of the Consejo Superior de Deportes, the governing body of all sports. And even though the Federación is an independent body, we are in touch with other equestrian disciplines.”


“So, we’ll see what happens. If they start playing in England on July 1st, then everything would be shortened. It will be reviewed, we will have to talk to patrons and let them decide where they would like to play. For example, if Spain is in lockdown, they can play in France. Or maybe, they can go to Andalucía in November or December. But that is not what we want; we want to wake up from this bad dream for there to be polo in England, France, and Spain. Hopefully, it will happen, because that’s what we all want.”


“We have a great responsibility, and we must focus on solidarity. That’s one of the greatest things about polo. It is a friendly world, we are all friends. You can play with someone today, and tomorrow that someone plays against you, and you remain friends. So polo must set an example to all sports.”