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2018 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament Kicks Off In Bangkok

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There are different activities offered in Thailand aside from the usual bar hopping and night entertainment. The 2018 King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is being held on the banks of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River. The early morning proceedings started with a traditional ceremony with monks placing sacred garlands on the participating elephants. Thailand’s last elephant spirit man (Kru Ba Yai) that has spiritual control over all the elephants in Thailand led the early morning rituals.

Players from all over the world including more than 600 school children attended the opening day. It was a treat for the children because they learned more about Thailand’s national animal. The opening match was between the Anantara all star team with India’s national polo team players, Kalaan brothers Uday and Angad and Thailand’s celebrity professional polo player Ploy Bhinsaeng and the traditional mahout team of Tao, Mui and Sompotch.

The mahouts lost 2-0 even if they showed their impressive natural flair and close relationships with the elephants. However, the match of the day was between Johnnie Walker Blue Label and King’s Cup debutants Challenge Everything from New York. Johnnie Walker was captained by Thailand’s Elephant Polo president Christopher Stafford while Challenge Everything had David Partridge as their captain. Johnnie Walker secured a victory of 5-3.

The 25 unemployed elephants that took part in the event have received full veterinary checkups through the Zoological Parks Organization of Thailand.

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