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Friday, 23 December 2016

World Elephant Polo Championship | Tigertops

Posted by Anup Baral December 23, 2016 :
Deep in the heart of the steamy Nepalese jungle; the Himalayas rising up to form a blindingly magnificent backdrop, lies the home to one of the world’s most unique sports. elephant polo! The idea was famously launched in a bar in St Moritz, Switzerland, by James Manclark a Scottish andowner and former Olympic tobogganer and Jim Edwards, the owner of Tiger Tops jungle lodge (www.tigertops.com) – where they were both members of the Cresta Club. It went something like this: Manclark, “My wife was sitting next to us and she said, ‘He’s quite a nice man and he’s got elephants.’” Edwards remembered James turning to him and saying, “you got elephants, let’s play polo.” Jim replied, “buy me a drink and we can play.” James bought him quite a few. back in Nepal, Edwards received a telegram from Manclark on the 1st of April that read: “Have long sticks. Get elephants ready, arriving on Indian Airlines 1st April. regards, James”. This naturally left Jim in a quandary was this, the Scotsman’s idea of an April fool’s joke, or was he serious? He decided to have a field prepared in Meghauly and the elephants, just in case. Much to his surprize, James showed up with not only his wife Patricia, but also a bunch of eager players. elephant polo was born; the date, 1982. According to Jim, the first game was pretty chaotic: ‘The field was so big, it took a whole day to score one goal, and the foot balls that James thought we could use, were crushed by the elephants!’ It was decided to replace the foot balls with a standard polo ball.

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