Bangkok Bank Wins 12th Annual Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The 12th annual Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in the royal seaside town of Hua Hin, Thailand, came to a close on Sunday.

Attended by teams from all over the world, as well as celebrities, VIP guests and many Bangkok and local Hua Hin residents, the tournament offered a showcase of skillful play, plenty of memorable moments and a new winning team for 2013.

Sundays final, which was presided over by the King of Thailands royal representative, Privy Councillor Real Admiral Mom Luang Usni Pramoj, saw a shock win with first timers Bangkok Bank triumphing over Mercedes Benz in an action packed game resulting in a 13-10 final scoreline.

Both teams included international polo players, but it was Bangkok Bank, captained by former Olympian James Manclark, with his younger team mates Alister Archibald and Michael Goodwin, who took the title at the final whistle.

The tournament was introduced to Thailand in 2001 by Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas and has grown to become one of the biggest charitable events in Thailand, raising funds for projects that better the lives of Thailands elephant population.

Saturday nights gala dinner at Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa hosted a gathering of top dignitaries and well known celebrities, with the nights auction raising over four million Thai Baht, taking the total raised to date by the tournament to an impressive US$ 750,000.

This years tournament saw the New Zealand All Blacks Robin Brooke, Olo Brown and Charlie Riechelmann go head-to-head with Tiffany Show Pattayas ladyboy team. Thailands most famous transgender cabaret also entertained guests with a specially choreographed show at the Moulin Rouge themed gala dinner.

With free admission, the event has something for everyone, kicking off with a spectacular opening parade on the pitch, with the opening ceremony overseen by Thailands last elephant spirit men (Kru Ba Yai), traditional dancers, a baby elephant camp, plus the daily trunk-to-trunk action on the pitch.

The tournament was once again a great success, and is now one of the biggest events in Thailands sporting calendar, each year attracting more sponsors and raising more funds for Thailands elephant population.

Spectators, players and media came from all corners of the globe, including Australia and New Zealand, the USA and Canada, all over Europe, India, UAE, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Indonesia and many local visitors from Thailand.

Funds raised from this years charity auction will be donated to various projects in Thailand and will include an extension of the ongoing Thai Elephant Therapy Project being undertaken since 2009 in conjunction with Chiang Mai University Department of Occupational Therapy, with future clinics to include children with Down syndrome and other conditions.

Other significant benefits from money raised has gone to building 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 (TECC); 4,000 trees have been planted to create elephant corridors in Kui Buri to shelter from electric fencing in the area and to help avoid elephant/farmer conflicts; funding the first educational computer application for children to teach them the importance of conservation and protection of wild elephants in Thailand and funding Asias first workshop to show  traditional elephant trainers and camp owners the benefits of Positive Reinforcement Training for domesticated elephants.

Final Leaderboard for 2013 Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament

1. Bangkok Bank
2. Mercedes
3. King Power
4. Audemars Piguet
5. Rueang Chang
6. Sara Story Design
7. PTT
8. Johnnie Walker Blue Label
9. Pricewaterhouse Coopers
10. Whisgars
11. Citi
12. Mekhong
13. Anantara Hotels, Resort & Spas
14. CDD The Devil
15. Arabian Knights
16. Tiffany Show Pattaya

See also: HD Videos from 2012 Kings Cup Elephant Polo Tournament and other HD Videos.

Elephant Polo, Anantara, Minor, Hua Hin

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