KING'S CUP ELEPHANT POLO 2003 TOURNAMENT
SEPTEMBER 16 – 21, 2003
Venue: The Elephant Polo Field at the Som Dej Phra Suriyothai (the 16th Infantry Division) in Hua Hin
Spectator entrance is free of charge.

 
 

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

The "King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament", the popular sport of kings, returns to the Royal Paradise of Hua Hin.
A game of two-ton mounts, two metre-long mallets and one small white ball, the third annual King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament will be played on a specially prepared Elephant Polo Field at the Som Dej Phra Suriyothai (the 16th Infantry Division) in Hua Hin from September 16 – 21, 2003.

This year’s tournament, organised by the Anantara Resort and Spa and supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, is the biggest yet. Twelve international teams will be taking part, fielding a range of polo prowess - from international horse polo players and elephant polo champions to Q-Bar mixologists and have-a-go novices. Spectator admission to all the games is free of charge.

In 2002 it was Mercedes Benz Thailand’s German team, an unstoppable trio of horse polo playing brothers, who took the King’s Cup home to Hamburg. This year the Mercedes Benz team are coming back to defend their title, playing against a line up which includes past champions Chivas Regal, American Express Thailand, PricewaterhouseCoopers WEPA Nepal, Nokia Thailand, Britain’s King’s Royal Hussars, Tickle and the Ivories, Q-Bar, Mullis Capital, Sandalford Winery Australia, the Screwless Tuskers and the Thaigem.com Jewels - a team of the world’s top women elephant polo players.

Played according to World Elephant Polo Association rules, the tournament in Thailand will be played with three elephants per team on a pitch that is one-third the size of a horse polo field. A game is comprised of two 7-minute chukkas. The players will use specially made elongated polo sticks that are 78 to 110 inches in length, depending on the height of the elephant, using standard size polo balls.

Each elephant carries a polo player and a mahout. The mahout directs the elephant using his voice, hands, feet or a goad. The umpire of the game oversees the play from a wooden howdah on the back of the largest elephant.

The height of the elephants range from 2 to 2.5m, and they weigh between 2 to 2.8 tonnes each. They usually eat in excess of 200 kg of food each day. The largest elephants are used in defence while the smaller ones with greater speed are used in attack.

Elephant Polo was first played by Mogul Indian Kings and was reintroduced with a new twist in 1982 by an Englishman (Jim Edwards) and a Scotsman (James Mann-Clark) -- Polo on elephants. Since then the tournament has been played in Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Kingdom of Thailand.

ELEPHANT POLO HISTORY AND RULES OF THE GAME
Please click to view

As in previous years, the event will raise money for the National Elephant Institute – an indispensable and dedicated organisation under the auspices of the Thai government, which provides welfare, sustenance, medical care and employment for Thailand’s elephants and mahouts. The 2002 tournament raised a record one million Baht for the institute. This year the goal is to raise 1.5 million Baht, says William Heinecke, CEO of Royal Garden Resorts, owner of the Anantara Resort and Spa.

The third annual King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament tournament will be launched on Saturday 13th September with two ‘fun’ matches – The Bangkok Post vs The Nation followed by The Celebrity Cup when two teams of celebrities will battle it out to claim the trophy. The tournament proper starts on Tuesday 16th September with an elephant parade of all the teams and an exhibition match.

The Charity Gala Dinner will be held on Saturday 20th September at the Anantara Resort and Spa with the theme of ‘A Day at the Races’.

For the fundraising auction, the organisers got extra creative. This year’s biddable packages include a weekend in the world’s fastest C-Class Mercedes, a weekend learning how to be a hot-air balloon pilot in Chiang Mai, a stingray-leather elephant stool from Lotus Arts de Vivre and an hour’s tennis lesson with Thai tennis superstar Paradorn Srichaphan.

 
paintbrush-wielding elephants   elephant orchestra

Attending the tournament will be members of the National Elephant Institute’s elephant orchestra and the paintbrush-wielding elephants, whose artworks regularly sell at auction for up to US$800.

Tickets for the gala dinner cost THB 4,500++ (US$110++) per person and tickets for the Jazz Brunch THB 800++ (US$25++) per person. Tickets are available from the Anantara Resort and Spa on 0 3252 0250.

RELATED ARTICLES
Please click on the item to select

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
THAI AND INTERNATIONAL TV STARS GET A TASTE OF ELEPHANT POLO
ELEPHANT POLO HISTORY AND RULES OF THE GAME
CREATIVE AUCTION TO RAISE RECORD FUNDS FOR THE NATIONAL ELEPHANT INSTITUTE

KING'S CUP ELEPHANT POLO PACKAGE
September 16 - 21, 2003


For anyone wanting to make a week of it, the Anantara Resort and Spa is offering a special 5-night/6-day elephant polo package for the duration of the tournament which includes:

  • 5 nights double-occupancy accommodation
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • Transportation to and from the elephant polo field
  • 2 tickets to the gala dinner on Saturday 20th September
  • 2 tickets to the champagne jazz brunch being held at the elephant polo field on finals day and
  • Late check out until 20.00 hrs. on Sunday 21st September


  • Prices start from US$739++ for two people sharing.

    Further information about the event, please visit
    www.anantara.com/elephantpolo

    Thailand Elephant Polo Association
    www.thaielepolo.com

    For information on Elephant Polo, please visit the World Elephant Polo Association web site
    www.elephantpolo.com

    RELATED ARTICLES

    THE NATIONAL ELEPHANT INSTITUTE (NEI)/
    Thai Elephant Conservation Centre

    Under The Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana, Lampang Province

    http://www.tatnews.org/others/1785.asp
    Please click to view

    ROYAL PARADISE
    http://www.tatnews.org/emagazine/1209.asp
    Please click to view

    Elephant polo photos featured in this article by Rachot Visalarnkul © Anantara Resort & Spa Hua Hin

    Contact information:
    Anantara Resort & Spa Hua Hin
    email: cstafford@anantara.com

    For further inquiries and bookings, please contact:
    Reservations Department
    E-mail: info@anantara.com
    Tel: (66) 0 3252 0250
    Fax: (66) 0 3252 0259

    Press Contact - For English:
    Diana Moxon
    E-mail: dmoxon@minornet.com
    Tel: 66 (0) 2 877 7495 (direct line) 66 (0) 2 877 5803

    THAI AND INTERNATIONAL TV STARS GET A TASTE OF ELEPHANT POLO

    Top models Cindy Burbridge and Byron Bishop together with TV stars Pol, Boom, Art and Cha na na will be climbing into a jumbo saddle on Saturday 13th September when they play in the Anantara Celebrity Elephant Polo Cup.

    Joining the Thai stars and bringing the international flare to the high-profile team will be CNN Asia’s Lorraine Hahn, presenter of the weekly Talk Asia show, and famous British sports author and after-dinner speaker Ian Stafford.

    The Anantara Celebrity Cup is the forerunner to the week long King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, which takes place from 16th to 21st September and sees top horse polo players, elephant polo afficionados and complete novices battle it out for the coveted King’s Cup.

    The afternoon’s sporting entertainment also includes a local press derby with a team of determined journalists from the Bangkok Post set to clash with a rival team from The Nation for the Sandalford Press Cup.

    The Nation Sports Editor Alan Parkhouse will be captaining a team comprising Assistant Group Editor Kavi Chongkittavoin, news journalist Don Pathan and correspondent Andrew Drummond.

    In charge of The Bangkok Post team are Sports Editors Roger Crutchley and Jim Hawker backed up by columnist Colin Hastings, sports reporter Wanchai Rujawongsanti and Kittipong Thongsombat from Post Today.

    The King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament raises money for the National Elephant Institute’s elephant conservation centre in Lampang. Event organisers are hoping to raise 1.5 million Baht this year.

    The Anantara Celebrity and Sandalford Press Cup matches will take place at the Som Dej Phra Suriyothai military ground in Hua Hin. The Sandalford Press Cup will take place at 2pm and the Anantara Celebrity Cup at 3pm.

    Spectator entrance is free of charge.

    Contact information:
    Anantara Resort & Spa Hua Hin
    email: cstafford@anantara.com

    For further inquiries and bookings, please contact:
    Reservations Department
    E-mail: info@anantara.com
    Tel: (66) 0 3252 0250
    Fax: (66) 0 3252 0259

    Press Contact - For English:
    Diana Moxon
    dmoxon@minornet.com
    66 (0) 2 877 7495 (direct line)


    CREATIVE AUCTION TO RAISE RECORD FUNDS FOR THE NATIONAL ELEPHANT INSTITUTE

    An hour’s tennis lesson with Thai tennis-superstar Khun Paradorn Srichaphan, a weekend in the world’s fastest C-Class Mercedes and two days learning how to be a hot air-balloon pilot with Oriental Balloon Flights are amongst the items up for auction at this year’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo gala dinner.

    The dinner will be held on Saturday 20th September at the Anantara Resort and Spa Hua Hin and promises to be a big-money night for the National Elephant Institute, the recipient of the tournament’s fund-raising. Last year’s tournament raised one million Baht for the elephant charity and event organiser Christopher Stafford hopes to top that amount this year.

    Other top auction items include a galuchat (stingray leather) elephant stool finished in sterling silver from Lotus Arts de Vivre, a money-can’t-buy Scottish whisky experience donated by team sponsors Chivas Regal, a week’s detox at top health spa Chiva Som, a sizeable gemstone from ladies team sponsor Thaigem.com, a week’s luxury accommodation at the new Marriott Vacation Club in Phuket and world-class wines from Australia’s Sandalford Winery.

    Funds raised at the 2002 King’s Cup Elephant Polo were used for elephant welfare and mahout training at the NEI’s elephant conservation centre in Lampang, Thailand’s leading centre for elephant care.

    250 tickets are available for the dinner, which will be attended by elephant polo players and VIPs. Themed ‘A Day at the Races’ the evening will start with horse racing on the beach at Hua Hin before a sumptuous 4-course dinner, live music by The Boy Band and dancing til dawn on the resort’s beach lawn.

    Tickets cost THB4500++ per person and are available from the Anantara Resort and Spa. Ticket reservations can be made by phone to 0 3252 0250 or by email to info@anantara.com.

    THE NATIONAL ELEPHANT INSTITUTE (NEI)/
    Thai Elephant Conservation Centre

    Under The Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana, Lampang Province

    http://www.tatnews.org/others/1785.asp
    Please click to view

    ELEPHANT POLO HISTORY AND RULES OF THE GAME

    The World Elephant Polo Association established the governing rules for Elephant Polo in 1982, the association has its headquarters at the Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge in the Royal Chitwan Park in Nepal which is where the World Elephant Polo Tournament is played every year on a grass airfield in Megauly.

    In 2001 two new competitions were launched - the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Hua Hin Thailand, organised by the Anantara Resort and Spa and held each September and the Ceylon Elephant Polo Association Championships, held on Weligama beach in front of Taprobane Island in southern Sri Lanka each February.

    ORGANISATION OF THE GAME

  • In Thailand the game is played with three players on each team on a marked pitch of 100 metres by 60 metres using a standard size polo ball.
  • The game consists of two 7-minute chukkas of playing time, with an interval of 15 minutes. The whistle blown by the referee stops and starts the play.
  • The pitch is marked with a centre line; a circle with a radius of 10 metres in the centre of the field, and a semi-circle, in front of the goals, with a radius of 20 metres, measured from the centre of the goal line at either end of the pitch which is referred to as the D.
  • Elephants and ends are changed at half time.
  • The scoring system awards two points to a winning team and one point apiece to teams which draw.

    RULES

    The rules are similar to those of horse polo but some key points to note are that the elephants have a player and a mahout, ladies are allowed to use both hands and elongated sticks of around two metres in length are used.

    Additionally there are some elephant specific rules:

  • Any team having more than 3 elephants in one half of the pitch is judged to have committed a foul.
  • No more than 2 elephants may be in the D at one time – one from the attacking team and one from the defending team.
  • There are no restrictions as to the height, weight or sex of the elephants.
  • No elephants may lie down in front of the goal mouth. To do so will constitute a foul. A free hit is awarded to the opposing side from the semi-circle in front of the goal.
  • An elephant may not pick up the ball in its trunk during play. To do so constitutes a foul and a free hit is awarded to the opposing team from the spot where the ball was picked up. The defending players must be 15 metres from the spot.
  • Teams are made up from the pool of elephants and balanced out as fairly as possible bearing in mind size and speed of the elephant. Once the pool of elephants has been selected, each elephant is categorized and marked as A,B,C,D, E, F.
  • Sugar cane or rice balls packed with vitamins (molasses and rock salt) shall be given to the elephants at the end of each match and a cold beer, or soft drink, to the elephant drivers and not vice versa.

    THE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF THE ELEPHANTS USED IN T.E.P.A. TOURNAMENTS IS OF PRIME CONCERN, ABUSE OF THE ELEPHANT IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE MOST SERIOUS OFFENCE.

    HANDICAPPING

    Handicaps are assigned by the T.E.P.A. Handicapping Committee and handicapped players may come under one of two categories

    1. Professional horse polo players. The handicap awarded to any registered professional horse polo player shall total half of their horse polo handicap.
    2. Professional and seasoned elephant polo players. A half goal handicap will be assigned to any player who has played in three or more World Series (WEPA, TEPA or CEPA) elephant polo championships anywhere in the world and does not have a horse polo handicap.

    Players handicaps are decided before the tournament commences. Player handicaps may not be changed during the tournament.

    Should a team's total handicap when summed result in a half goal handicap, the handicap is rounded down.

    Full information about the rules of the game is available at www.thaielepolo.com