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Introducing Chetan Krishna: Reviving the Glorious Legacy of the Meadow Brook Polo Club

In the world of polo, where passion and tradition collide, there are individuals who carry the flame of this magnificent sport, igniting new dreams and preserving its rich heritage. One such man is Chetan Krishna, the owner of Meadow Brook Polo Club, the oldest polo club in the United States with continuous operation. Chetan embarked on a mission of revitalization, determined to restore the club to its former glory after the dark shadows of the pandemic.

Pic @rebafoltz79 / Rebecca Foltz

As fate would have it, Chetan's journey into the world of polo began during the pandemic. Seeking a thrilling adventure that would resonate with both his own love for team sports and his daughters' passion for show jumping, he discovered polo — a perfect amalgamation of athleticism, camaraderie, and adrenaline.

Chetan's initiation into the sport led him to establish his own polo team, Dracarys, named after the commanding cry from the renowned television series Game of Thrones. Currently active in Florida and the Northeast, the team has plans to elevate their game in the coming year.

However, Chetan's bond with polo extended beyond Dracarys. A serendipitous twist of fate led him to assume stewardship of the Meadow Brook Polo Club, a revered institution with a storied past dating all the way back to 1881. Driven by an unwavering passion for the sport and a deep desire to preserve its history, Chetan took on the challenge of breathing new life into this cherished club. Recognizing the pivotal role it has played in the history of American polo, he vowed to revive the club to its former glory and usher it into a vibrant new era.

-Chetan, how did you develop a passion for polo, and what motivated you to start your own polo club and team in the United States?

"During the pandemic I was playing a lot of golf and wanted something new and exciting that I could also have in common with both of my daughters' passion, which is show jumping. Since I do enjoy hitting a ball around, enjoy a team sport, and love the rush of adrenaline, polo seemed to be the perfect combination.

As far as creating a team is concerned, since I was a beginner there really was no other way to play organized polo within 6 months of learning how to ride, unless I created my own team haha.

Starting a club was not really part of the plan. I’m still not sure what I’m doing to be honest. It happened by pure accident, but I feel that if I don’t do it then it will die out. Hence I’m only trying to be a torch bearer until someone else comes along to continue encouraging the sport in Meadowbrook."

Pic @rebafoltz79 / Rebecca Foltz

-Can you tell us about the history of the Meadow Brook Polo Club? How did it come to be, and what makes it unique?

"The history is there on the internet for everyone to read. What I will say is that it clearly is either the oldest or one of the oldest clubs in the country. Many historic games have been played between amazing players with crowds of 30 thousand people watching. As time went on this has been lost, and we are only trying to revive some of that beautiful and unique history to the best of our ability, while also promoting the sport. The proximity to one of the biggest and most bustling metropolises in the world, New York City, is also quite unique to our club. We are only 20 miles east of Manhattan and within 30-45 mins of 2 major airports in JFK and LaGuardia, with fairly easy access to 3 other airports. Tons of nightlife and other amazing activities within close proximity also add to the uniqueness and appeal of Meadow Brook. Our newly formed polo academy is doing amazingly well and we hope to produce new and enthusiastic players for the future of the club and the sport."

-What inspired the name "Dracarys" for your polo team, and what does it symbolize?

"This is just funny. The name is derived from the TV show Game of Thrones which we were watching during the time I started playing. The word Dracarys is the attack command given to the fire breathing dragons."

-As an Indian living in the United States, do you feel any cultural influences in your approach to polo?

"The culture of love, family, competition, camaraderie, community, inclusion and friendship amongst other similar values, is the same anywhere in the world."

Pic @rebafoltz79 / Rebecca Foltz

-How do you blend both cultures in your polo club and team?

"I have not had to blend anything to be honest. I live it the way I’ve always lived outside of polo. It’s the same values, and it’s amazing but not surprising that most people are the same way and enjoy the same things. I do surround myself with quality people in the team who love, respect and value the same things."

-Could you describe the experience of owning and managing a polo club?

"It has been a learning experience so far for sure! It was also quite an investment. We are trying not to make too many mistakes and also not to repeat some that we already made. We are trying to keep polo alive in our humble capacity in our neck of the woods, and bring awareness in the community and promote spectatorship by organizing some competitive games, and creating some fun events for the public to come and enjoy."

-What are some of the challenges and rewards that come with it?

"There are several challenges. Some of them are convincing patrons to come try out the new club under our leadership and experience for themselves what amazing fields we have put time, effort and money into. To experience the amazing people we have and how nice everyone is to each other. To experiment the fun of playing polo at our club but also the other activities such as asados, theme parties, one-wheel Roda Polo, beach volleyball and so on. It really is a great time guaranteed.

The other challenges are stabling, but we have that covered for approximately 150 horses and have the ability to get more for anyone interested in playing with us during the Summer season. We are slowly overcoming this because everyone that has come to experience it has absolutely enjoyed it and not been disappointed. Soon we hope to find some sponsorships as well to not only support the club but also to help the corporate sponsors with their marketing as Meadow Brook continues to grow and build."

-Can you share some memorable moments of Dracarys polo team since its formation?

"There are too many to count here but I will say that winning all three of the 12 goal tournaments we entered, in our first real season in Wellington, which is very competitive, was quite the feat and very memorable for the entire team. There are several other memorable moments outside of the game but that would take very long for me to list in this interview."

Pic @rebafoltz79 / Rebecca Foltz

-Are there any upcoming events or tournaments that team Dracarys will be participating in?

"Yes! We are playing an 8 goal in the Hamptons and the team is Antonio Aguerre, Leon Schwencke, Brandon Phillips and myself. We are also playing a 16 goal in Greenwich Polo Club with Leon Schwencke, Jeff Hall, Mariano Aguerre and myself. We are also playing two more 16 goals later in the Summer with Brandon Phillips, Jeff Hall, Facundo Obregon and myself. Besides these we are playing 8-12 goal pro pool matches at Meadow Brook and there will be some 12 goal tournaments as well."

-What are your expectations for these events?

"To be competitive (hopefully win a few) but more importantly for me, to continue to learn the game and improve as a player and as a team."

-How do you envision the future of polo in the United States, and what role do you hope Meadow Brook Polo Club and the Dracarys team will play in its development?

"Polo is such an amazing sport. It pains me that more people aren’t aware of it and aren’t enjoying it as much as they should. I think it’s imperative that everyone in the world of polo does their absolute, very best to help promote the sport selflessly. We have to grow the sport and bring it to the masses to come watch and enjoy and hopefully play as well. We need to make a production out of it, a spectacle (like the NFL does, or NBA or NHL etc.), a fun and glorious event every time spectators come and watch the game, and bring it to national TV and so on.

I can go on but my point is if we all help make this a 'prime time sport,' it will make polo a mainstay event and everyone that enjoys it, makes a living out of it or plays it as a hobby will benefit tremendously while giving back to the sport of kings. The most glorious sport of all. We at Meadow Brook and Dracarys hope to contribute in our humble way to make this vision a reality.``


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