Till 1983 there was a unique and vast polo ground with the perfect grass on the beach front of Sotogrande. Every visitor who came for a visit was puzzled how this unique piece of real estate was left for horses. We had a very well-known resident by the name of Mr. Ellias Pinto, who was negotiating with Sotogrande to buy this land for our community as a green zone. Unfortunately this deal did not go through and promotors bought the land and built town houses on it.
I used to be the head of show jumping in my country. One day I decided to introduce and organize show jumping in Sotogrande on that fabulous course, we had to build the jumps. Every one volunteered to give me free advice and help. Show jumping was never been organized in Sotogrande.
One resident took me to a wood land of eucalyptus, and we bought the trees which are planted for the purpose of buildings and carpentry, so we bought poles and the local carpenter made us jumps. These poles weighed a ton each! I was told once they get dried they will be very light, these poles never got dried and were so heavy needed 2 men to pick them up.
Another resident who pretended he knows about show jumping sent wood shavings, to put in front and back of each jump so the horses so don’t slip, I tried to be nice and innocently accepted. This course was on the sea shore and the stables on other side of the main road road rather a long way from Sotogrande stables and those years the riders did not have their own horse lorries. Almost all of the riders came from Jerez de la Frontera and Seville, they approached to the show ground on horseback and took a wrong turn, and were lost inside of Sotogrande.
Once the show started, the horses who had never seen white patches of wood shavings in front and in the back of each obstacle, they refused to jump. In total, my first organization was a total disaster.
I was sick for 3 days.