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February 17, 2009updated Feb 08, 2013

Elephant Polo At Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

The game of polo has been around for centuries, and there’s good reason for it. Imagine the wind blowing past as you charge down the pitch, maneuvering a majestic animal as you advance toward the opposing team’s goal line. Imagine the feeling of excitement as the crowd roars in support of your agility. Now imagine it without the speed.

Guests staying at Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle from March 23-30, 2009, will have the unique opportunity to train and actively participate as players in The King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, part of the official World Elephant Polo Association Championship series. Taking place in Northern Thailand, the tournament is an annual charitable event that raises money for the country’s National Elephant Institute.

The game is similar to equestrian polo, with minor modifications. The pitch is shorter (because elephants are slower than horses), the sticks are longer (because elephants are bigger than horses), and there are some necessary rules. For example, elephants can’t step on the ball or lie down in front of the goal line. Seems fair, right? Three players to each team play two 15-minutes halves, or chukkas, in each game. Professional mahouts drive the elephants while guests swing cane mallets towards the goal. No prior experience is required and all necessary polo gear is provided.

Non-playing guests can view the action along with the Camp’s own elephants, who will watch enviously from the sidelines. Want to play the game of kings on the back of giants?

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