Friday, March 11, 2016

Macro Polo: "King's Cup Charity Elephant Polo Tournament kicks off in Bangkok"

And before I hear anyone going off on how the elephants shouldn't be subjected to the degradation....blah, blah, blah, these are working elephants who deserve a break from sometimes heavy physical labor, often in solitude, if there's a problem, that's what should be bitched about, the elephants seem to enjoy hanging with their elephant buddies and anyway, I like pachyderm polo matchups.
2013's contest between the Australian rugby players and the Thai ladyboys being one for the the ages.

From Bangkok's Coconuts:

Pachyderm polo: Elephants rumble in Bangkok's urban jungle
A herd of elephants romped across a Bangkok pitch yesterday for the first match of a four-day polo tournament raising money for the animals, which are heralded as a national symbol but often subject to abuse.

Eighteen pachyderms are playing in the annual King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, held this year on a large field in the heart of the Thai capital.

During the lumbering and unsurprisingly slow-paced matches, a "mahout" handler controls the beasts while a polo player who is also riding on the elephant's back concentrates on scoring.

This year's tournament sees a motley mix of humans competing, including professional polo players, New Zealand rugby stars, Thai celebrities and members of a transgender cabaret troupe.

Some of the competing elephants are taking time out from their day jobs in the tourist industry, while others are domesticated but currently unemployed, according to the event's organizers, the luxury hotel group Anantara.

It says the cup, now in its 14th year, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities that assist Thailand's domesticated elephants, of which there are an estimated 4,000....MORE
Day 1: Citi beats PwC 11-6

Here's a minute from that 2013 match while the Guardian was covering this year's edition: