Set in more than 2,000 rai (or about 250 hectares) of picturesque grounds to the east of Pattaya, just 90 minutes or so drive from the capital, Bangkok, the Thai Polo & Equestrian Club is arguably a unique facility in all Asia and Australasia.
Boasting three full-sized, international-standard polo playing fields as well as two practice grounds, and stabling for more than 250 horses, the Thai Polo & Equestrian Club opened in 2005, although it was initially called, simply, the Thai Polo Club. This changed a few years later when the equestrian facilities were added to the mix.
The brainchild of polo enthusiasts Harald Link (President of the South-east Asian Equestrian Federation) and Mrs Nunthinee Tanner (considered the first female polo player in Thailand), the Thai Polo & Equestrian Club has grown in size and stature in recent years. The number of enthusiasts has grown steadily over the past decade or so, and the Club now has around 80 horses available for members and guests. The clubhouses were designed by Nunthinee Tanner, while the Chukka Bar is an exact replica of the famed polo bar in the Langham Hotel in London.
In 2007, renowned Australian designer Wayne Copping was given the task of establishing an international standard cross-country course which would be suitable as a venue for international events, such as the South-east Asian Games. An eventing course was designed by New Zealander John Nicholson, and this was used to host the inaugural Asia Eventing Championships. With the addition of an endurance course and an international Derby facility, the club is now recognised as the largest multi-functional polo and equestrian operation in all Asia.
The veterinary and quarantine facilities are second-to-none in the region, with a leading Argentinian vet acting as general manager of the complex, overseeing Argentinian, French, British as well as local farriers, trainers, and stable staff.
Over the years the club has attracted many local and international players. The Thai Polo Open, sponsored by B. Grimm, takes place every January and attracts between six and eight teams.
The noted American-based polo coach Rege Ludwig hosts a polo school at the club. His clinics cater to all skill levels and age groups. Rege Ludwig spends more than six months a year at the club, imparting his renowned knowledge to a new generation of polo enthusiasts.
Chon Buri, Thailand