Anantara Hotels and Resorts has announced the dates for the 2017 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament. This year’s event will be held by the banks of Bangkok’s Chaophraya River from March 9 to 12, offering a full range of elephant festivities for families.
Now in its 15th year, the tournament has become one of the biggest charitable events in South East Asia with over US$1.3 million raised and donated to projects for Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephant population, these include: the world’s first Thai elephant assisted autistic therapy project; positive reinforcement elephant training workshops; mahout community development initiatives, and wild elephant conservation.
A total of 30 unemployed former street elephants will take part in this year’s festival, during which, they will be given full veterinary checks and care.
The welfare of the elephants that participate in the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament complies with rules ensuring that the pachyderms are well cared for. By imposing a “no micro-chip, no game” rule, Anantara ensures that all participating elephants have been domestically bred and not captured from the wild or smuggled in from neighbouring countries.
The 2017 event will have 10 teams encompassing over 40 players, including Thai celebrities, supermodels, professional horse polo players and New Zealand All-Blacks rugby players. The four-day festival will have an opening parade, children’s educational day, ladies’ day known as ‘Bangkok Ascot’ and elephant related fun activities.
Anantara has been associated with elephant conservation efforts with the formation of The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, which has rescued over 40 elephants off the streets of Thailand.