Beijing will have the mother of all Chinese polo clubs in September, when Reignwood opens near Pine Valley golf club in Changping district to the city’s north. Its number two in China for Hussars, the cooperative of polo professionals which builds and runs clubs around the world. Hussars man in China is Briton Steve Wyatt, and his Nine Dragon Hills club near Shanghai, written about earlier on this site, has been two years in operation already.
Wyatt tells me that he difference between the two clubs is that Nine Dragon Hills is mainly for people “who like the polo life style,” in an exclusive environment in the lush countryside.” It’s more about being a member of the club in other words, rather than necessarily playing polo, though “quite a few of them (members) do actually wish to be riding or to try their hand at playing polo.”
But is there room for another polo club in Beijing in the doom and gloom of 2009? Yes, says Wyatt, the key is exclusivity: the two, admittedly low key polo, clubs in the capital are not of Reignwood’s international standard, he says. “The options currently available will appeal only to dedicated enthusiasts. I’m confident that when the facilities are available to attract a wider audience that the sport will develop much further in Beijing.”
Below is a photo of Steve Wyatt in the saddle at Nine Dragon Hills.