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horse towns

China saddles up with exclusive riding clubs, horse towns

BEIJING: Leather riding boots are neatly lined up on a carpet, a picture shows blood-thirsty hounds on a fox hunt and a fountain spews water from the mouths of stone horses. It may have the trappings of upper-class Britain, but this is in fact suburban Shanghai and the County Down Club, the self-styled first exclusive membership club in China for horsemanship and fox-hunting. The club, which takes its name from a county in Northern Ireland, was founded three years ago and owner Steven Sun says equestrian sport "has…