Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    Polo is an impressive sport to watch anywhere but it's even more amazing when the horses are replaced with elephants. Each year, the <a href="http://goldentriangle.anantara.com/default.aspx" target="external">Anantara Golden Triangle resort</a> in Thailand, hosts the <a href="http://www.anantaraelephantpolo.com/" target="external">King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament</a>.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    How would you like this guy's job? When the extra long polo mallets break, it's his job to run between the elephants and hand the player a new one.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    The tournament has raised more than $250,000 over the years for the National Elephant Institute, which provides medical care, sustenance, employment to Thailand's elephant population and their drivers, called mahouts.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    The King's Cup trophy rides in on the back of two elephants.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    In just eight years the King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament has gone from a small two-day event with six teams into a weeklong extravaganza with a dozen teams from around the globe.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    The tournament isn't just about the elephants but is also packed with several displays of Thai culture, such as this parade.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    There are also dance demonstrations, like this one, as part of the weeklong event.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    And plenty of color and style in the parade.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    The event brings players from all around the world and -- like any other sport -- plenty of corporate sponsorship too.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    One of the mahouts, or elephant drivers, takes a break.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    Here a group of shamans preside over the tournament's feast.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    One of the elephants heads out to the field to play.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    How else do you end an elephant polo match than with an oversize gong?
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    Proceeds from a past match have been used to rescue street elephants and train them in occupational therapy as part of a joint effort between the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, and a Chiang Mai University project investigating the benefits of using elephants to treat autism.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    The elephants rest in a misty field nearby.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    For the matches, the elephants get elaborate chalk decorations.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    At the end of a hard day on the field, the elephants frolic in the cool water to relax and clean up.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
  • Elephant Polo in Thailand

    One of the teams poses with the trophy, their elephants and a picture ofThailand's king, Bhumibol Adulyadej.
    Carol Stevenson/Anantara Golden Triangle Resort
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