Bangkok, 18 March, 2016: Thailand’s annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, now in its 14th year, recently came to a close with teams from around the world having joined the event. During the tournament some 15 million Baht was raised to help with elephant conservation and charity projects nationwide.
This year’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament was held by the river in Bangkok on 13 March 2016. It was the culmination of a four day event that saw ten teams competing for the winning prize. Among the big names joining the tournament were Miss Thailand Thanyachanok Moonninta, and New Zealand All Black Rugby players.
To raise awareness of the plight of Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephants, the tournament was held to coincide with Thailand’s National Elephant Day. Over one thousand children from Bangkok schools were invited to the second day of the tournament to get close to the elephants and learn about the importance of conserving these animals and their habitat.
The 20 elephants used in this year’s tournament were rescued street elephants and before and during the event they were given full health checks from the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand (under the patronage of His Majesty the King of Thailand) and the Department of Livestock Development.
The final winners of King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament 2016 were reigning champions the King Power team who beat rivals Rueang Chang 9-7 in a match presided over by H.E. Privy Councilor, Air Chief Marshal Chalit Pukbhasuk.
The elephant polo tournament was first introduced by Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas in 2001 and is now one of Thailand biggest charitable events in the Kingdom having raised 47 million Baht to date.
Money raised this year will go to fund a mobile clinic in Mae Teang, Chiang Mai, home to many Thai elephant trekking camps. Funds will also be donated to the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand to support projects aimed at improving the life of 200 elephants and mahouts in Ban Ta Klang, in Surin Province.