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Written by: Ed Story


The foremost objective of the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is to ensure the safety of the elephants during the course of the tournament.  Moreover, a qualified veterinarian is on duty at all times.  Of secondary importance is raising funds for elephant conservation.  The individual with ultimate responsibility for this task is John Roberts, Director of the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, whose watchful eye is constantly on the polo pitch.  John concluded that the   field was not stable and there was the risk that the elephants could slip and be injured to say nothing of the fragile riders.  He rightly chose to suspend play as long as the pitch was unsafe which remained the case for the course of the tournament.   

The second day of play was devoted to penalty shootouts from the lower ranked teams to preserve the pitch and hopefully enable the teams in the semi-finals to play the following day.  The inequality of penalty shootouts is there is no recognition of team respective handicap positions as each individual player must score a goal from the top of the D located fifteen meters away from the goal.     


During the course of waiting for the pitch to dry, I made the mistake of agreeing to be the foreign spokesman in Thai for the tournament.  The first experience was an hour-long interview in Thai on the Thai TV sports channel.  I might add that I lived in Thailand a number of years ago and went to school to learn the language.  Nonetheless, I cannot tell you how tiring it is to do a long Q and A in Thai. 


My Thai TV sports interview was followed by another interview later in the day to be aired on a Thai ladies show.  You can judge my level of enthusiasm by the expression on my face.  However, I must say it did break the boredom of staring at the puddles on the pitch.

- Ed -

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