Elephant polo, Asia


Think polo is an upper class sport played only on the fleetest of horseflesh? Think again. The variety of the game played in Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India’s Rajasthan region is a whole different animal.

Here elephants lumber clumsily after the ball. Two polo players ride on top – one to wield the mallet and the other steer the creature as best they can. The rules are roughly the same as those of equine polo, but unlike their elegant counterparts, the elephants are expressly forbidden from crushing the ball and lying in front of the goal.

The annual World Elephant Polo Championships take place in November/December in southern Nepal. To have a go yourself, sign up with the World Elephant Polo Association.

Written by - Photo by Mike Bostock

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