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Hua Hin Elephant Polo 2005

Scots Win Hua Hin Elephant Polo Tournament 2005

The 5th King's Cup Elephant Polo came to a dramatic end on the 11th as the Chivas Regal Scotland team clinched the title from Mullis Capital after a sudden death play-off.

The final match of this colourful tournament _ hosted by the Anantara Resort and Spa _ was played before the representative of His Majesty the King.

Both teams fought hard in the first half, with Mullis taking advantage of a two-goal lead from handicap and soon extended the score to 4-1 with two goals from Khun Tat, playing for the first time with a new carbon fibre polo stick.

From here the game erupted into an exchange of howitzer hits from end-to-end as both teams executed the most outrageous long-distance shots.

However the Chivas Team just could not convert with Kalaan and Prentice both missing from distance.

In a change of tack, Kalaan switched to his dribbling game and took the ball on a 60-yard drive to take a goal back and make the score 4-3 to Mullis Capital.

Then in a barnstorming finish to the first Chukka, Angad Kalaan took the ball again at the dribble from half way and with two just two seconds left on the clock, chipped the ball cheekily over the defensive elephant of Ken Macmillan to score the most stylish goal of the tournament.

The second half stared with a concerted three minute attack by Mullis Capital, however Chivas Regal cleared their lines to release the newly introduced Duke of Argyll who tempted Mullis into a foul by placing two elephants in their defensive D area.

Unfortunately, Kalaan failed to convert the free hit, but Chivas piled on the pressure and in a fantastic piece of team play, the Duke of Argyll swept towards the empty opposition goal mouth to convert a backhand from Kalaan who had drawn the defence wide.

Chivas missed several opportunities in front of goal to make the game certain, leaving the crowd in agony and they were made to pay when Khun Dat squeezed an equalizer to force a period of sudden death extra time.

Chivas Regal Scotland started extra time where they left off, in the opposition half, and the momentum seemed to be with them.

After two and a half minutes, they had the ball an inch from the Mullis line. In a desperate race for the ball, Angad Kalaan kept the coolest head and popped it over the line for one of the most dramatic wins in King's Cup history and resulted in a pitch invasion of ecstatic Scots.

In earlier matches, Angus Estates beat Sandalford Winery to take fifth position in final placements at the 2005 King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament. American Express/UBC Thailand and Mercedes-Benz Germany took fourth and third places respectively. [ Story: Bangkok Post ]

From 5th to 11th September, the royal seaside resort of Hua Hin will play host to the 5th King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, which as well as featuring the world's top horse polo players, will see the returning of Stu Wilson, Bernie Fraser, the New Zealand's former world-ranking All Blacks rugby players plus new comers, Nick Farr Jones and Peter Fitzsimmons from the Australia's Wallabies team!!

Anantara Resorts & Spas Vice President, Christopher Stafford, introduced the tournament to Thailand in 2001. In just five years it has gone from a small 2-day event with 6 teams into a week-long elephant polo extravaganza, and has been ranked as the 6th largest event on the Thai calendar, featuring 16 teams including Mercedes Benz Germany, PricewaterhouseCoopers/Air New Zealand/Swiss International Airlines/ All Blacks, Chivas Regal, Chivas Thailand All Stars, Angus Estates, Singapore Polo Club, Sandalford Winery, Element, Tickle & the Ivories, Mullis Capital, Shanghai Tang, DHL Global Mail Wallabies, Knight All Stars, American Express/UBC Thailand, British Airways Army team and Anantara Visitors Team.

The event takes place at the Development and Resources Preservation Division (formerly known as 16th Infantry Division or Som Dej Pra Suriyothai Military Camp) on the southern outskirts of Hua Hin and is supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Spectator entrance is free of charge.

The 2004 event was broadcast across the USA on ESPN, was photographed for the 60- million circulation Sports Illustrated swimwear issue and was written about in newspapers and magazines across the US, Europe, Asia and Australia. The tournament has also been featured on Discovery Channel, CNN, Star TV, the UK 's GMTV morning breakfast show, Germany 's ZDF television, Australia 's Channel 9 and in glossy magazines such as Conde Nast Traveller, The Robb Report, Country Life, Polo Quarterly, Harpers Bazaar, Singapore and Hong Kong Tatler and CNN Traveler. Past winners whose names are now engraved on the King's Cup trophy are Chivas Regal (2001), Mercedez Benz Germany (2002 and 2003) and Mobile Easy Thailand (2004).

To date the tournament has raised over US$100,000 for the National Elephant Institute, which provides medical care, sustenance, employment, welfare and mahout training to Thailand 's elephant population. It is estimated that Thailand has around 2500 domesticated elephants and 1500 wild elephants. This is down from an elephant population of around 50,000 in 1950 and 100,000 in 1900. The National Elephant Institute's Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang is famous for its painting elephants and its elephant orchestra.

This year's fund-raising goal is 2 million Baht, all of which will be donated to the National Elephant Institute by event organiser, the Anantara Resort and Spa Hua Hin. The auction items are, Anantara Grand Tour - spend the nights in all of Anantara Resorts & Spas, staying at Al Maha Resort Wadi include bashing and Falconry, Chivas Regal Magnum, a jumbo bottle of Chivas Regal are amongst the items up for auction at this year's King' Cup Elephant Polo gala dinner. Other top auction items this year include the signed All Blacks shirts. Straight off their backs, 3 original limited edition, All Blacks polo-shirts signed by three of New Zealand 's top all-time players: Bernie Fraser, Stu Wilson and Steve McDowell. One chance, and one chance only to claim a piece of All Blacks and elephant polo history. Manohra Song Cruise on the River of Kings , float serenely up Thailand 's Chao Phraya River from Bangkok to the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya. Past glorious temples, inspiring palaces, hidden markets, this 3-day/2-night trip on the elegantly and luxuriously converted teak rice barge, the Manohra Song, offers a unique opportunity to observe Thailand's river of life from a seat of unsurpassable comfort. Chiva Som Detox, a blissful escape for stressed urbanites. Eat yourself healthy and find your inner glow (it's in there somewhere) with a 5-night detox at the luxurious and award-winning Chiva Som.

This year, the Gala evening “Matadors & Senoritas” will be held on Saturday 10th September at the Anantara Resort and Spa Hua Hin. The evening will start with cocktails at the garden area, next to lagoon rooms before moving to the fantastic live buffets dinner; enjoy the live music and dancing at the resort's beach lawn. Tickets are available at Anantara Resort and Spa Hua Hin.


All team information and colours can be found here:







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