Pachyderm Polo

The 12th annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament took place on August 30, 2013 in the seaside town of Hua Hin, Thailand. 16 teams took part in this year’s tournament, including one team of rugby players from New Zealand and a team of Thailand’s transgendered ‘ladyboys’. The sport of elephant polo started in Nepal in 1982.  Each team has three players and three elephants and matches take place on a pitch (field) 80 meters by 48 meters using standard polo balls. Each elephant carries two people on its back, one player holding an extra-long polo stick and an elephant trainer who controls the animal.  The game is divided into two 7 minute ‘chukkas’ or halves.  Proceeds from the tournament go to help rehabilitate elephants rescued from abuse.  Former Hartford Courant staff photographer Paula Bronstein, who has been based in Thailand for several years, covered the event for Getty Images.

HUA HIN, THAILAND - AUGUST 29: A Brahman priest sprinkles holy water blessing the elephants before games begin during the first day of events at the King's Cup Elephant Polo tournament on August 29, 2013 in Hua Hin, Thailand. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

HUA HIN, THAILAND – AUGUST 29: A Brahman priest sprinkles holy water blessing the elephants before games begin during the first day of events at the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament in Hua Hin, Thailand. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

VIEW MORE

Posted in Photojournalism. RSS 2.0 feed.
The Courant is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on courant.com articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.

One Response to Pachyderm Polo

  1. As an Event Photographer I would love an assignment such as this.

    Just a pity there is a distinct lack of elephants in London :-)