After an absence of a couple of years in whuich the elephant polo took place in Chiang Rai , since 2011 , the elephant polo is back in Hua Hin. In comparison to last year´s event , this year seemd to have a small budget cut as there were no grandstands. Also Mercedes decided not to send a Maybach and kept their beauties on a podest in the sun. Less classy .
After a fun and ferocious week of elephant polo, attended by teams from all over the world as well as royals, celebrities and many other special VIP guests, the final day of the tournament offered up a showcase of skilful play, plenty of memorable moments and a new winning team for 2012. The final match placed two stellar teams on the pitch, both of them full of storied elephant polo histories and exceptional players. However, the combined offensive might of King Power’s Nattapong Praumlee, Thanasin Chuawangkham and Captain Tom Claytor proved too much for the defending champions Audemars Piguet Superior skills and strategy delivered a solid win for the King Power team over the Mercedes Benz team, ending their chance for a place in the finals on the second last day of play at the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament.
King Power opened up the first chukka with good natural aggression and sound technical knowledge to unwind Mercedes solid early play – although strong defence from Mercedes players James Douglas and Hiro Suzuki, it wasn’t enough enabling the King Power’s team consisting of Captain Tom Claytor and Thailand’s finest polo players Apichet Raksriskasorn and Nattapong Pratumlee to score the first goal of the game. King Power’s Thai super star players, Nattapong Praumlee, Thanasin Chuawangkham and the rock solid defense of Tom Claytor saw the defending champion team of brothers Angad and Uday Kalaan and Sanjay Choegyal out-manoeuvered and out played throughout the match. Nattapong Praumlee received nearly all the scoring glory of the game, batting in every single goal for his team.
Captain Tom Claytor served up surgically precise assists, and fellow professional polo player Thanasin Chuawangkham provided the same impenetrable wall in front of the goal that kept the Audemars Piguet team on the defense for most of the game. The final score was a resounding 13 – 9 to King Power.
The exciting weeklong event has not only been about fun and games – a generous sum of THB 3.3 million was raised for various elephant charity projects at the Anantara Hua Hin gala dinner which hosted a gathering of top dignitaries and well known celebrities. Scores for 2012 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament:
1. King Power
3. Mercedes Benz
4. Rueng Chang
6. Blue Label
7. Sara Story Design
10. The Nellies
12. Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas Courtesy of The Anantara Resort & Spa Hua Hin