Equestrian sport has been incorporated into the Asian Games since 1982. China boasts a long history in equestrian, among which, polo, one of the most widely known modern sports played on horseback, was once a fashionable pastime during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), which was widely practiced by both skillful female and male riders on horses – or even on donkeys!
A visitor studies an ancient Chinese mural depicting polo-playing dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907) at an exhibition in Beijing, May 13, 2019. /CFP
Blending speed, skill, passion, stamina, bravery, teamwork and cooperation between a horse and its rider, the sport was favored by almost every class of people in the Tang Dynasty, from emperors, nobles and high officials, to civilians.
A mural from a Tang Dynasty (618-907) prince’s coffin chamber depicts a scene of polo-playing. /CFP
Many ancient Chinese paintings depict scenes of polo-playing, and a series of murals from a Tang Dynasty prince’s coffin chamber – which are now housed in the Shaanxi History Museum in Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province – are among the most famous of these works.