Elephant polo

The World Elephant Polo Championships

Players from across the globe assembled to form Eight International teams of Man and Beast. The teams represented Scotland, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Nepal and the defending champions the British team. The tournament is played at a small village, Meghauly, on the edge of the famous Royal Chitwan National Park, a jungle location, highly appropriate for this most majestic of sports.

The sport was founded 35 years ago by Brits Jim Edwards and James Manclark a fellow adventurer, in a drinking session at St Moritz after tobogganing on the Cresta Run. Its rules have evolved over the last 2 decades and the game now has its own governing body; World Elephant Polo Association (WEPA). Each game consists of two chukkas of ten minutes. The smaller, younger elephants are the fastest and are primarily used in an attacking position.

The Elephants are controlled by ‘mahouts’ or drivers, whilst the players concentrate on wielding extra long polo sticks, but communication between all three (mahout, player and elephant) is crucial. The rules of the game are similar to horse polo, but the pitch is 3/4 length and there can be no more than three elephants in one half of a pitch at a time, to avoid the dangers of the animals’ herd instincts crowding them into a semi-permanent huddle. Fouls can include standing on the ball, hooking an opponent’s stick and deliberately crossing in front of a charging elephant.

Professional polo players are handicapped in the same way as horse polo whilst seasoned elephant polo players also carry a one goal handicap. Whilst each team of elephants is evenly matched, opposing teams swap elephants at the end of the first chukka to negate any advantage. The smallest elephant on each team is the fastest, a sort of GTi version, and these elephants play a pivotal role in the match. However, in the game of Elephant polo, communication is the key to success not only between mahout, player and elephant but also fellow team members. During play ball boys clear any elephant dung to avoid the matter being splattered during contact with the polo sticks. Presiding over the matches, the referee is perched upon an impressive tusker.

After an intense week of competition Angus Estates Scotland earned their place in the final against the favourites the National Park team of Nepal. The local team despite having several strong, experienced elephant polo players and massive local support just could not compete with old timer James Manclark who dominated play to give his team and Scotland a third World title in as many years. The final score was 8 goals to 6.

However, it was the gentle giants of the Jungle, the elephants, who stole the show, they clearly enjoyed their role and proved to be the real stars of the tournament and were rewarded with plentiful supplies of their favourite food, deservedly so!

This annual event raises money for charity including the local Meghauly Clinic and the Tiger Tops local pre-school, plus the International Trust for Nature Conservation (ITNC) which funds tiger and rhino anti-poaching units in the National parks of Nepal.

This was filmed by HUTC for news distribution – the copyright remains with HUTC

Henry Tuke at the World Elephant Polo Championships 2010 Tiger Tops Nepal

Henry Tuke launched its brand at the World Elephant Polo Associations' World Championships at Tiger Tops in Nepal. Playing with the UAE Seapoys, this underrated team won through the group stages into the World Championships and then into the final itself. With several novice elephant polo players it took teamwork and some special performances by the stars including a goal hit from the defending D across the pitch and into the oppositions goal: A first in WEPA history. An amazing journey, a brilliant result and a sensational way to launch. Henry Tuke is a new Luxury brand specialising in over the top boys toys, handmade in England out of the finest materials. Here, good enough is simply not good enough! Launch products for Jan 2011 inclde Macassar ebony and sterling silver backgammon sets, stainless damascus steel and sterling silver champagne sabres and more exciting products to follow.

Elephant Polo (हात्ती पोलो ) 2017 /2018 Tournament in sauraha ,nepal

Elephant Polo (हात्ती पोलो ) 2017 /2018 Tournament in sauraha ,nepal

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Polo match is the tradition of Jaipur. Polo match of Jaipur and love for Polo of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II are world famous. Elephant polo match along with the horse polo in Jaipur was enough to tell us the passion of Polo in Jaipur.

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Se eu te disser que tem gente que joga polo não com cavalos, mas sim montados em elefantes? E o boxe-xadrez, já ouviu falar? Conheça alguns dos esportes mais estranhos do mundo!

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A New Zealand rugby team takes part in the 2012 King's Cup Elephant Polo in the Thailand resort town of Hua-Hin. Pachiderm polo is meant to be enjoyed by all participants, including the elephants.

A rugby team from New Zealand has taken part in the 2012 King's Cup Elephant Polo in the Thai resort town of Hua-Hin, 300 kilometres south of Bangkok on Tuesday.

As their colleagues at home prepare for the Rugby World Cup, this team prepared for their pachiderm polo debut after a traditional Haka- the Maori dance.

For a beginner, it is quite hard for the player to control an elephant, as on first-time elephant polo player discovered.

[Charles Riechelmann, New Zealand All Blacks Player]:
It's very interesting. I liked it. It's fun but it's very interesting. It's hard to control the elephants to do what we want to do. I think that's the hard part.

And sometimes elephants can go unexpectedly naughty and don't want to play.

[Chitra Mepburn, Captain of the Spice Girl Team]:
The game was good except for elephants issue. My elephant sat down in the middle of the game, so we have to change. My other friend's elephant decided to attack another elephant, so we have to change again. This is what fun about elephant polo, not like horse polo.

According to the rules, if the elephant doesn't enjoy playing, they have to change as they want the elephant to be enjoying itself, too.

The rules in elephant polo are similar to the game played on horses, with only a few differences.

Three elephants are allowed on to the 100 by 60 meters ground with two people on each elephant - a player and a mahout, an elephant driver.

The elephants are not allowed to lie in front of the goal posts or use their trunks to catch the ball. If they do either, they commit fouls, earning the opposing team the free hit.

Elephant polo in Thailand was first launched in Hua-Hin in 2001, and the tournament moved to the golden triangle in 2006.

Proceeds from the event will go to organizations dealing in elephant welfare in Thailand.

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