The highly popular King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is celebrating its eleventh anniversary in the royal seaside town of Hua Hin from September 12th to September 16th and promises to have nail-biting action both on and off the field.
With free admission for everyone, spectators can rub shoulders with European and Asian royalty, international sporting stars and local celebrities. The event has something for everyone including a spectacular opening parade through the main streets of Hua Hin, Thailand’s last ‘elephant spirit men’ (Kru Ba Yai), traditional dancers, a baby elephant camp and fun fair and a wide range of food and beverage outlets to tantalize the taste buds.
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The tournament this year will see the New Zealand All Black’s Robin Brooke, Olo Brown and Adrian Cashmore go head to head with royals Prince Carl-Eugen Oettingen-Wallerstein and his wife Princess Anna and daughter Princess Joanna. Miss Tiffany Thailand will also be playing in the tournament for the first time adding a hint of fun and a lot of colour.
International and local celebrities, including US actress Isabelle Fuhrman, Former Thai PM Aphisit Vejjajiva super models Cindy Bishop, Lukkade Methinee and Marie Claire Editor in Chief Jackie Frank have donated their artistic talents by painting a piece of “The Big Picture” painting which will be on display throughout the event and which will be auctioned off for charity at the final gala dinner.
The tournament was introduced to Thailand in 2001 by Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas and has grown to one of the biggest charitable events in Thailand that has raised almost US$500,000 for projects that better the lives of Thailand’s elephant population including:
- Mahout accommodation at the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC), a mobile centrifuge for the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre elephant mobile veterinary clinic.
- Donating an elephant ambulance to the TECC
- The Thai Elephant Therapy Project, which initially provided 16 autistic children with a free clinic to develop their social interaction and emotional skills by using elephants as a working partner with occupational therapists. The official elephant autism clinics commenced in Chiang Mai in 2011, with future clinics to be expanded to include children with Down’s Syndrome and other conditions.
- Five elephants were rescued from Thailand’s city streets to participate in the world’s first ever Thai Elephant Therapy Project, in conjunction with Chiang Mai University Department of Occupational Therapy and the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre. Four of these five elephants now live at Anantara Golden Triangle’s Elephant Camp and have retired from active participation.
- Funds raised from last year’s event have been donated in helping build the first elephant hospital in Krabi in the southern part of Thailand. A THB 500,000 gantry to help lame elephants stand has been donated to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre. 4,000 trees have also been planted in Hua Hin to shelter elephant corridors from electric fencing in the area.
The 11th King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is held at Hua Hin’s Suriyothai Army Base approximately 20 minutes from Anantara Hua Hin Resort and Spa. For more information on King’s Cup Elephant Polo, please visit www.anantaraelephantpolo.com . Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa is a distinctive Thai village-style resort located on the sunrise coast of the Gulf of Thailand. Hidden amidst 14 acres of luxuriantly landscaped mature gardens and lagoon pools, the picturesque resort enjoys a beachfront location at the quiet end of Thailand’s historic royal seaside town. For more information please visit www.anantara.com.