The Third Annual Elephant Story Invitational Elephant Polo Tournament, June 16-18 Moo Baan Chang Thailand
The third annual Elephant Story Invitational Elephant Polo Tournament was a jumbo success to the delight of the players, spectators, elephants and the villagers of the tiny village of Moo Baan Chang, Thailand home to over two hundred elephants.  Six teams representing eight countries from four continents competed in the three-day event in Surin, northeast Thailand.  The six teams were evenly matched with several internationally recognized players including Kristjan Edwards of Tiger Tops Nepal fame, Chris Stafford, a most highly regarded player of Thailand and Nepal, and Rinchen Choeygal, who was born on an elephant in Nepal.   The two children on the front row are future elephant polo players, our two youngest grandchildren, Dagny and Edward Garschina.

The event began with the traditional blessing of the elephants and the more fragile elephant polo players by the mahout elders shown with the headmaster of the Chang Boon Wittaya school.  The Khru Bay Yai elder mahout, at age 89, is the oldest living mahout from the former elephant catchers in the wild era on the Cambodian border.  

A new world record in elephant polo was created when Kristjan Edwards scored a goal in seven seconds following the "bully-off'.

Kristjan Edwards

New stars emerged in the form of Manop Rachote who scored his first goal on an elephant the first day of the tournament.

The Manop Rachote Team

Stewart Easton demonstrated the prowess of his Kilts 'n Sarongs team out of Scotland/Singapore with a very special Elephant Gin made in St. Andrews Scotland created for the occasion. 

The Kilts and Sarongs Team

Simon Race with his ToleHouse Chameleons demonstrated a vastly improved physique following the curative powers of his many Sak Yant tattoos.

The ToleHouse Chameleons Team

However, the common glue of The Elephant Story tournament as well as the most recent King's Cup held in Bangkok was the riveting commentating of Robert Mullis which was only surpassed by the play of Darren Buckley's Citi team.

The Citi Team

In the end, the aging Elephant Story team edged out Sara Story Design to retain the championship and return the trophy to Comfort, Texas.

The Elephant Story Team

Every year the Story ladies say it is the last year but to date experience and an aversion to strong drink has served us well. 

The Sara Story Design Team

A special mention to the careful, watchful eye of John Roberts, Director of The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation. 

John Roberts, GTAEF Director

We are most thankful for the the fantastic photographic work of Claire Davidson.

Photographer Claire Davidson

Further, we look forward to the future commentary of Finn-Olaf Jones, a well-known journalist who was imbedded into the Kilts 'n Sarongs team. 
Most importantly, we need to recognize our tireless referee, supporter and organizer of the event, Jason Friedman.  Jason's efforts, when combined with the organizational skills of Joey and the ever present watchful eye and cash supply of Khun Suphapong, made it all possible.

Event Organizer and Referee, Jason Friedman

Now, the expenses have been paid and the net results have been determined.  The six teams paid a sponsorship fee of $10,000 per team for a total of $60,000.  The total expense of $24,000 to conduct the event in Moo Baan Chang then yielded a net result of $36,000 to be contributed to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation by way of The Friends of Conservation. Of significance is the fact that the total expenses of $24,000 remained in the village as will the contribution to support education in the primary and secondary village schools.  In addition, The Elephant Story will contribute a further $30,000 to support an extensive veterinarian program for the elephants there. 
As a result, our event has had a major impact on the economy, the welfare of the people and that of the elephants in this remote village of northeast Thailand.  Therefore, we made merit and had a lot of great fun in the process. I look forward to seeing you in Moo Baan Chang next year. 

We Love Elephants
The TES Polo Mallet Tee Shirt
The Elephant Story Red, White & Blue Tournament Jersey

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Join founder Ed Story as he documents his travels to Asian Elephant countries.
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