Dates for 2013 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament

Monk Blessing

DATES HAVE BEEN SET for the 2013 edition of the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament – one of Thailand’s major and internatiomally best known events – attarcting tousands of visitors and raising more than $600,000 to help Thailand’s elephants.

This year’s event will be held in the Thai royal seaside town of Hua Hin from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, going from a small two-day event in 200. It is sponsored annually by Anantara Resorts & Spas.

Last year’s tournament featured 12 teams encompassing over 40 players, including German royals, Prince Carl-Eugen Oettingen-Wallerstein, his wife Princess Anna, the New Zealand All-Blacks rugby team and Thailand’s famous transgender cabaret team Miss Tiffany’s.

Fundraising from last year’s event has, to date, been donated to a number of projects in Thailand. The first is to continue to support research and clinics using elephants in therapy sessions for children in Thailand living with autism. Last year saw the research to date published and a continuation of the free clinics for Thai children is planned.

In February the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF), based at Anantara Golden Triangle Resort and Spa, will play host to a landmark “positive reinforcement training” workshop with traditional elephant trainers from throughout South East Asia.

The workshop will be guided by well known trainer Dr Gerardo Martinez and feature guest speakers from Thai universities.

This will be the first time positive reinforcement training for elephants will be introduced and discussed on a large scale in the range of participation. GTAEF’s work with Thailand’s wild herd has continued with Human Elephant Conflict mitigation and partial sponsorship of the Wild Elephant Counting Week in Kui Buri Royal Project area.

“One of the main aims of this event is to take as many elephants off the streets of Thailand as possible during the event. Last year we were able to take over forty street elephants and make sure they were properly fed, and received vitamins and veterinary care while at the event,” said Bill Heinecke, CEO Minor International and owner of Anantara.

“We must never forget the true meaning of holding this event and that is to raise awareness and as much money as possible towards the conservation and welfare of Thailand’s elephant population.”

For more information on King’s Cup Elephant Polo, visit www.anantaraelephantpolo.com

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