Thailand hosts elephant polo King’s Cup

The twelfth King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament has been held in Thailand. Teams of three players atop three elephants compete on a pitch 80 mteres by 48 metres, using standard polo balls. The game is divided into two seven minute ‘chukkas’, or halves, with each team trying to score more goals than their opponent. There were sixteen teams at this year’s tournament, with proceeds going towards the rehabilitation of elephants rescued from abuse.
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Elephants line up during an opening ceremony for the King's Cup Elephant Polo tournament on August 28, 2013 in Hua Hin, Thailand. This is the 12th year for the event. The sport of elephant polo started in Nepal in 1982. Proceeds from the tournament go to help rehabilitate elephants rescued from abuse. Each team has three players and three elephants. Matches take place on a pitch (field) 80 meters by 48 meters using standard polo balls. The game is divided into two 7 minute 'chukkas' or halves. There are 16 teams in this year's tournament, including one team of transgendered 'ladyboys'. (Getty Images)
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Thai dancers perform during an opening ceremony for the King's Cup Elephant Polo tournament on August 28, 2013 in Hua Hin, Thailand. This is the 12th year for the event. The sport of elephant polo started in Nepal in 1982. Proceeds from the tournament go to help rehabilitate elephants rescued from abuse. Each team has three players and three elephants. Matches take place on a pitch (field) 80 meters by 48 meters using standard polo balls. The game is divided into two 7 minute 'chukkas' or halves. There are 16 teams in this year's tournament, including one team of transgendered 'ladyboys'. (Getty Images)
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Kevin, a Filipino ladyboy who is part of a polo team, gets strapped in as she sits on an elephant on August 28, 2013 in Hua Hin, Thailand. This is the 12th year for the King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament. The sport of elephant polo started in Nepal in 1982. Proceeds from the tournament go to help rehabilitate elephants rescued from abuse. Each team has three players and three elephants. Matches take place on a pitch (field) 80 meters by 48 meters using standard polo balls. The game is divided into two 7 minute 'chukkas' or halves. There are 16 teams in this year's tournament, including one team of transgendered 'ladyboys'. (Getty Images)
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Thai dancers perform during an opening ceremony for the King's Cup Elephant Polo tournament on August 28, 2013 in Hua Hin, Thailand. This is the 12th year for the event. The sport of elephant polo started in Nepal in 1982. Proceeds from the tournament go to help rehabilitate elephants rescued from abuse. Each team has three players and three elephants. Matches take place on a pitch (field) 80 meters by 48 meters using standard polo balls. The game is divided into two 7 minute 'chukkas' or halves. There are 16 teams in this year's tournament, including one team of transgendered 'ladyboys'. (Getty Images)
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A Thai marching band parades on the pitch on August 28, 2013 in Hua Hin, Thailand. This is the 12th year for the KingÕs Cup Elephant Polo Tournament. The sport of elephant polo started in Nepal in 1982. Proceeds from the tournament go to help rehabilitate elephants rescued from abuse. Each team has three players and three elephants. Matches take place on a pitch (field) 80 meters by 48 meters using standard polo balls. The game is divided into two 7 minute 'chukkas' or halves. There are 16 teams in this year's tournament, including one team of transgendered 'ladyboys'. (Getty Images)
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Workers paint the lines on the polo pitch on August 28, 2013 in Hua Hin, Thailand. This is the 12th year for the KingÕs Cup Elephant Polo Tournament. The sport of elephant polo started in Nepal in 1982. Proceeds from the tournament go to help rehabilitate elephants rescued from abuse. Each team has three players and three elephants. Matches take place on a pitch (field) 80 meters by 48 meters using standard polo balls. The game is divided into two 7 minute 'chukkas' or halves. There are 16 teams in this year's tournament, including one team of transgendered 'ladyboys'. (Getty Images)
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Thai dancers perform during an opening ceremony for the King's Cup Elephant Polo tournament on August 28, 2013 in Hua Hin, Thailand. This is the 12th year for the event. The sport of elephant polo started in Nepal in 1982. Proceeds from the tournament go to help rehabilitate elephants rescued from abuse. Each team has three players and three elephants. Matches take place on a pitch (field) 80 meters by 48 meters using standard polo balls. The game is divided into two 7 minute 'chukkas' or halves. There are 16 teams in this year's tournament, including one team of transgendered 'ladyboys'. (Getty Images)