Wealthy Chinese parents are encouraging their children to take part in equestrian activities as a way to strengthen their credentials in order to gain places at top universities in the US and UK. Polo, a relatively new sport in China, has become increasingly popular among those who can afford it.

China's rising affluence has nurtured growing interest in the sport along with other pastimes, which are regarded as noble or prestigious by the country's elite. Clubs and international-sized polo fields have been built in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and on the outskirts of Tianjin – home to the exclusive Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club, the largest in the country. The Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club is by invitation only, and fees can be significant for polo team owners. Professional polo players are frequently flown in from countries such as New Zealand and Argentina in order to field competitive matches.

Getty Images photographer Kevin Frayer offers an insight into the world of the most prestigious polo clubs in China:

China polo
A young Chinese player form the Junior Polo Programme practices riding during a summer training camp at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo ClubKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
A goal judge watches play in the intervarsity tournament at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo ClubKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
Chinese players from the Metropolitan Polo Club team, in white, and players from the US and UK play an exhibiton match at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo ClubKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
A horse handler wraps the legs of a horse as he prepares them for an intervarsity matchKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
A boy looks at the cup before the tournament beginsKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
A polo horse is seen in the stable areaKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
A horse trainer exercises polo horsesKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
Spectators watch a match between Chinese players from the Metropolitan Polo Club team and visiting players from the UK and UK during the intervarsity tounrament at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo ClubKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
A horse trainer exercises polo horsesKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
A horse trainer washes a polo horse after exerciseKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
Young polo players from the Junior Polo Programme take a break during stick-and-ball training during summer camp at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo ClubKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
A woman with her children during a break in an intervarsity tournament match at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo ClubKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
Painted horse sculptures are seen in the stables at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo ClubKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
Young polo players from the Junior Polo Programme sit on wooden horses during a summer training camp at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo ClubKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
Young polo players Dong Jialin, right, from the Junior Polo Programme practices stick-and-ball training during summer camp at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo ClubKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
A horse trainer stands with polo horses during an exhibition match between Chinese players from the Metropolitan Polo Club team and visiting players from the United States and Britain during the intervarsity tounrament at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo ClubKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
Horse trainers and handlers exercise polo horsesKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
Players from the Cornell University Polo team rest during a break in a match during the intervarsity tounrament at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo ClubKevin Frayer/ Getty Images
China polo
Chinese players from the Metropolitan Polo Club team, in white, and players from the US and UK play an exhibiton match at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo ClubKevin Frayer/ Getty Images