Monday, 24 March 2008

2008 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament

The event organiser Anantara Resorts announcced that the 2008 Thailand's highly popular King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament would take place from 31 March - 6 April in the northern-most region of the country popularly known as the Golden Triangle.

This annual event, ranked as the 6th largest event on theThai tourism calendar has, for the past five years, taken place in the royal saeside town of Hua Hin, situated 220km south of the Thai capital Bangkok. The tournament was introducted to Thailand in 2001 by Anantara Vice-President, Chistopher Stafford and is a charitable event that raises money for the country's National Elephant Institute in Lampang , northern Thailand.

In just six years the King's Cup elephant Polo Tournament has gine from a small 2-day event with 6 teams into a week-long extravaganza, which in 2007 featured 12 teams encompassing 36 players from 15 countries. The Tourism Authority of Thailand supports the King's Cup Elephant Polo tournament and spector entrance is free of change. The 2008 event will take place at the Anatara Resort Golden Triangle, driving less than an hour from Chaing Rai Internation Airport.
To date the tournament has raised over US$140,000 for the National Elephant Insitute, which provides medical care, sustenance, employment, welfare and mahout training to Thailand's elephant population. It is estimated that Thailand has around 2500 domesticated elephants and 1500 wild elephants. This is down from an elephant population of around 50,000 in 1950 and 100,000 in 1900.
The modern game of elephant polo was founded in Nepal in 1982 by Englishman Jim Edwords, ownedr of Tiger Tops Lodge in Nepal and James Manclark, a former British Olmpic bobsleigh competitor. The King's Cup elephant Polo Tournament is part of the World Elephant Polo Association World Series. The World Championships take place in Chitwan National Park, Nepal every Deceember and the Ceylon Elephant Polo tournament takes place each February in Sri Lanka's fort town of Galle.

2008 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Official Program

31st March 2008 – 6th April 2008

At Anantara Golden Triangle Resort, Chiang Rai