One of its carefully targeted Corporate Social Responsibility programmes, the hotel went the whole way and entered its own team in the tournament, staged for the first time in Bangkok. And it played its part rather well, with guests reporting having had a wonderful time and the team claiming Second Runner Up position in a field of 16 teams. The effort was especially cherished by The Peninsula Bangkok General Manager, Ms Katja Henke, a life-long horseback rider who has loved elephants since childhood and is a keen collector of elephant-related art.
With a view to helping give Thailand’s much-loved remaining elephant population the rich life they deserve, The Peninsula Bangkok also raised awareness and funds through various activities around the hotel as part of a more long-term welfare programme to support the kingdom’s elephants, their polo prowess and their plight.
It is important to note that the elephants are very well cared-for during the tournament. The elephants are carefully checked by a veterinarian and selected for their willingness and suitability for participating in the sport. They play for a maximum of 28 minutes each day and are fed on high-energy food along with veterinary and vitamin supplements. In addition to funds raised at the tournament, money raised at the Gala Dinner is used for strategic projects that benefit all of Thailand’s elephants.
In what is hoped will be the first of many King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament participations by The Peninsula Bangkok, its first foray has been declared an all-round success, for the elephants, the guests and the hotel alike.