In ancient Thailand, people were familiar with an Indian sport called khlee. Khlee and polo probably came from the same origins in Persia. The British introduced khlee to Thailand around a century ago as polo.
In 1890 His Royal Highness Krom Luang Devawongse Varopakarn, the minister of foreign affairs, officially accepted the proposal of an Englishman, Franklin Hurst, to set up a racetrack and sports field in Bangkok. Hurst later rented a piece of land at Sra Pathum where occasional horse races, gymkhanas, cycle races and polo matches were held. This sporting area later became the Royal Bangkok Sports Club.
There is also evidence that polo was played at the Pramane Grounds (Sanam Luang) before the 1920s. In 1924, the Bangkok Riding Club leased land from the Crown Property Bureau just off Wireless Road. This became the Bangkok Riding and Polo Club, where various equestrian sports (including polo) were played three times a week. Polo matches also took place in the north of Thailand at Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club, which was founded in 1898 primarily by British residents living in the northern city as well as in Lampang, Nan, Phrae and Nakhon Sawan. However, at the time of World War II, polo started to lose its popularity. Many foreign patrons had to leave the country and many clubs offering polo facilities started to decline in membership.
polo is enjoying a strong resurgence in Thailand, with
patrons like Harald Link bolstering interest in the
sport among Thais and expatriates by sponsoring
international tournaments and playing facilities. THAI
POLO CLUB, for instance, showcases tournaments like the
Mercedes-Benz & B.Grimm Polo Cup, to highlight the
exciting, social side of polo, combining high quality
match play with interesting activities for spectators
During 2008, THAI POLO CLUB plans a
number of international tournaments, local club practice
games, as well as, offering a training program for
juniors and other riders to hone their skills at polo.