Majestic Action: The King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament
The King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament has become one of the biggest sporting and charitable events in Thailand.
Text and Photos by Ahmad Zamroni
The King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament has grown to become one of the biggest sporting and charitable events in Thailand. Launched in Thailand in 2001, and sponsored since the start by the Anantara resort chain, this year’s event was held at the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort from March 10 to 13. Luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet has been a long-time sponsor, and was this year’s leading sponsor. The event featured action both on and o the eld as 10 teams from various corporations came together for a good game of polo, but on elephants. Participants also included Miss Thailand, the New Zealand All Black rugby players and many other VIPs.
Following an intense day of qualifying matches, guests were treated to a barbecue-style charity auction dinner on March 12 set on the pitch. Audemars Piguet was pleased to o er the Royal Oak O shore Chronograph for auction, which fetched an astounding $26,000. The exciting event has not only been about fun and games—a generous sum was raised for various elephant charity projects bringing the total raised to over $1.3 million. Conceived originally to give street elephants comfort and shelter, funds from this year’s event will be donated to many projects in Thailand, including an ongoing Thai Elephant Therapy Project in partnership with Chiang Mai University, and development of clinics to treat children with Down syndrome and other conditions.
The final day offered plenty of memorable moments. The highly anticipated final was presided over by the King of Thailand’s Royal representative, H.E. Privy Councilor, Air Chief Marshal Chalit Pukbhasuk. The Audemars Piguet team came third in position in the tournament, with King Power Duty Free emerging as champion, and Rueang Chang in second position.