15th Annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo


Last month, the annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament took place in Anantara Hotel Riverside Bangkok. Now on its 15 th year, this has become one of the biggest charitable events in Southeast Asia with over US1.3 million (THB 46 million) raised and donated to projects that better the lives of Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephant population. These include the world’s first Thai Elephant Assisted Autistic Therapy Project, positive reinforcement elephant training workshops, Mahout community development initiatives and wild elephant conservation.

A total of 30 former street elephants took part in this year’s festival during which they received full veterinary checks and care, much needed food and drink and essential vitamin supplements throughout the course of event.

The welfare of the elephants that participate in the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is of paramount importance, with strict rules ensuring that the pachyderms are well cared for at all times. By imposing a “no micro-chip, no game” rule, the organizer guarantees that all participating elephants have been domestically bred and not captured from the wild or smuggled in from the neighboring countries. The 2017 event has 10 teams with over 40 players including Thai celebrities, professional horse polo players and New Zealand All-Blacks rugby players. The four-day festival has something for everyone including an impressive Opening Parade, Children’s Educational Day, Ladies Day known as the “Bangkok Ascot” and fun elephant related activities.



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