Thailand Polo Newsletter

August 2008

Volume VI - Issue 1.

Sponsored by KING POWER

2003 news  2004 news  2005 news  2006 news  2007 news

Thailand Polo Association

Welcome to the newsletter for Horse Polo in Thailand.
Email Siam Polo - Club Manager: Khun Dang 0818136673
Thailand Polo Association Handicaps
Regulations, Fees, Membership Application 2007
Thai Polo History   Beginners Page   SPP Polo Action 2006

Siam Polo Park
Map // Hotels
N12'53.8' x E100'58.3'

VR Polo Club

N13'41.3' x E100'52.5'

Thai Polo & Equestrian Club

N12'53.5' x E100'59.5'

Polo Escape
N12'48.2' x E101'00.5'

POLO will start near the end of OCTOBER 2008 -- If you want to join, call PEE DAENG -- 081-813-6673 // Siam Polo Park will be moving to VR Polo Club near Suvarnabhumi Bangkok Airport

Khun Tuk must be one of the most quiet and faithful polo fans in Thailand. She is mother to two Thai polo players and is a great supporter of the game. We all wish her a Happy Birthday 2008 and look forward to seeing her cheering from the polo sidelines this year.
We have just been informed that for the first time in the history of China polo, there will be an Argentina Ambassador's Cup. This continues in the great polo tradition of combining talent with the quest to learn -- as experienced players will join the beginners with one woman on each team -- on the field at Nine Dragons. Congratulations to Nine Dragons for driving polo to the frontier of sport in China. There may be no one left at the Olympics! For more information on this exciting tournament in China, email Nine Dragons -- -- or call the CAMEL HOTLINE -- china+13764091413.


21-23Nov - Ambassador Cup ( 6 goal ) (location not settled, either PE or SPP- as the final game here)
22-25Nov - Elephant Polo and perhaps something else at Thai Polo & Equestrian (unconfirmed)
19-21Dec - Unnamed ( 6 goal ) - held at PE, Organized by PE, we have to choose a name for this Tournament
5-10Jan - dates unconfirmed - B Grimm @ TP (Gustavo thinks it is Jan 5th - 10th)
19-24 or 26-31Jan - Kings Cup at VR (he is talking of making it 20 goal if Cambiaso comes)
30Jan-01Feb - THAI POLO LEAGE @ PE -- 6 goal -- the league continues
12-15Feb - International Ladies Tournament ( 2-4 goals ) held and organized by PE - can VR organize a team - Ploy?
17Feb-01Mar -- THAI POLO LEAGUE #2 (where?) -- the league continues

20-22Mar - THAI POLO LEAGUE #3 (where?) -- the league continues
3-5Apr -- THAI POLO LEAGUE #4 @ VR -- (also Khun Vichai's Birthday)
17-19Apr - Gold cup combine with Songkran cup ( 6 goal )
Any comments, corrections, additional dates -- email -- thank you.
Churo has invited Bowo and the Indonesian team to play at Nine Dragons Hill Polo in China.INDONESIA DESTROYS BLACK DOG
Churo Pellegrini, the Polo Manager from Nine Dragons Hill Polo in China, traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia to captain the Black Dog Polo Team in the first International Polo Tournament at Nusantara Polo Club. He was accompanied by Expeditionary Polo Member Gerry Gan from Singapore. Gerry is a very keen polo player who has been learning polo for 4 months at Nine Dragons Polo Club. Gerry had no idea he was about to face off against the Indonesia National Polo Team. It took Gerry one chukka to recover from the shock and speed of the Indonesians, but then he was in full form assisting his team. The Indonesians loaned their very capable players Acep and Billy to the Black Dog team to round out their numbers. The first day, the dogs were walloped 7-2, and then on the second day, Mas Bowo led his team onto the field and produced two quick goals. The dogs were trailing 5-0 in the final chukka with Indonesian fans cheering for "Anjing Hitam" (Black Dog) to get one goal, and then the dogs responded with a magnificent goal in the final seconds. The highlight of the weekend was the "Picardia Training Course" that Nusantara Polo Manager, Nico Curto, conducted for Black Dog. Nico took Churo onto the field and instructed him on some useful tips for beginners and advanced players that would be helpful for teaching new players in "Every Vote Counts" -- Good Luck Bowo in 2009.China. In addition, Bowo showed great interest in coming to play in China with the Indonesia team. Churo assured Bowo that he would be most welcome at Nine Dragons Polo in China. All of this politeness did not lessen the damage on the field. The Nusantara team was operating at full speed with team captain, Novel, converting several goals after very fine passes from Nico. Novel is now playing off two goals and is the highest handicapped Indonesia player. Hari was a very sturdy team player taking out men and passing the ball up to Billy and Bowo. There was a moment of exhilaration for the Black Dog team on Saturday as Churo received a back pass, then proceeded across the field to execute another tail back to Acep, who carried the ball to goal. This was exactly the "double back" picardia that Nico had been instructing earlier that day. On Sunday, the exhilaration returned, as one of the dog players executed another Nico picardia -- "The Curto" -- by reversing the ball, claiming the new line, and then carrying the ball toward goal. Nico was so excited to see his picardias being executed on the field, that he could barely stay on the horse. It was a wonderful weekend of polo at Nusantara with a delicious dinner on Sunday night followed by a very special display of Indonesian dance in which all polo players took to the floor to learn the steps. There was a mass photo ceremony of spectators, players and all future voters in front of the clubhouse as Bowo proclaimed "every vote counts." If all goes well, Bowo is planning to announce his intention to run for President of Indonesia this coming December. The election would be in July 2009, so this means that Bowo may have to use some of his skills learned on the polo field to lead his country. Nusantara is currently building two additional polo fields in a different location, and they are looking forward to hosting polo at the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia. This time, they want to win. Nico, Ana, Novel are working on a Bahasa Translation of the POLO RED BOOK (How to Play Polo for Beginners).

Prabowo goes for goal -- Acep and Billy -- Black Dog Gerry Gan on the nearside

Turbo powered Polo Escape at Ham Polo ClubPOLO ESCAPE WINS SUBSIDIARIA CUP AT HAM
Polo Escape hit England by storm this summer. They won the first round match in the 12 goal Dubai Cup against Clarita 7.5-6, then they narrowly lost to Dubai, and in the Subsidiaria Cup play-off, Polo Escape won 8-6 against Hong Kong. Pepperoni was proclaimed as man-of-the-match, and the fans were very pleased. Khun Robin had recruited the handsome and capable Lucas Dipaola, Cabeza Grande and Pepperoni to play with her in this tournament. We were reminded that this was the first time in history that Polo Escape ever won a 12 goal polo match. Khun Suzy flew to UK to watch her team in the Subsidiaria play-off. The Hong Kong team fielded the distinguished and noble Nacho Gonzales, Martin Fillol, Serdio Santameder and their patron from Hong Kong. Apparently, there was rain throughout the day until the Polo Escape match against Hong Kong. Message from Khun Robin who has just returned to Thailand from UK -- "please thank Khun Vichai's generosity to let Polo Escape use his most excellent horses and Gustavo and Nicolas too please. We would not have had this opportunity with out all this support."
Facundo with Pepperoni -- on the polo field in England.FACUNDO PIERONI ON THE FIELD
The gaucho Facundo has taken to the field. It has been rumored for a long time that the Pieroni family runs rich with polo blood, and when Nicolas brought his cousin to Thailand, we were all anxiously waiting to see Facundo on a horse. Now, it has finally happened in England with a horse from Greece. Pepperoni has been teaching his cousin to ride. We will be sure to give you more details of Facundo and his progress on the polo field as soon as we hear them.
Nusantara Polo -- www.nusantara-polo.comPrabowo after chukkas with "Pehin Datu," H.E. Ambassador Hussein, The Brunei Ambassador to Indonesia -- a former polo player himself.POLO IN INDONESIA
Nusantara is the Bahasa word for Indonesia. It refers to over 17,000 islands that compile the vast archipelago of Indonesia. Anyone who watched the 2005 King's Cup in Thailand fell in love with the pure passion and drive of the Indonesia team as they competed in their first international polo competition. Their guiding mentor has been Army Lieutenant General Prabowo Subianto who is an accomplished horseman and who created an Indonesian National Polo Team that, in two years, was able to compete in the 2007 SEA Games. Now, in 2008, the Nusantara Polo Club has become reality. The club is located at Jagorawi Golf Club about 30 minutes drive South of Jakarta. It is a beautiful ground of Tifton grass with a nearby practice field. There are over 50 Argentinean horses at the club with Nico the Polo Manager and 3 Argentine grooms and 80 Indonesian grooms and workers. The clubhouse is simply beautiful -- classic and understated, it rests on a slight incline above the field, with a covered terrace and bar, so that you can look out and watch the polo. When Siam Polo News went to visit the field, the other guests were Their Excellencies The Ambassadors from Brunei and Germany, and the honorable wife of the Ambassador from Argentina. The most exciting of all was that Probowo was in full uniform and on the field. We saw Bowo many times on the side of the field in Thailand, but this was the first time we saw him actually on the field -- and his presence was dearly felt by the opposition, as he led his side to a commanding 13-2 victory in the 4 chukka friendly match. Nusantara Polo has their own webpage -- -- and the most capable of all club Secretaries "Ana" Bobane Silvana who can answer any questions or arrange for beginners lessons on the weekends -- We were able to talk with H.E. Ambassador Paul Freiherr von Haltzahn from Germany who started to play polo when he was stationed in Iran. We also met with "Pehin Datu" H.E. Ambassador Hussein from Brunei -- previous Army General and one of 6 beginners sent to Philippines in 1974 to learn to ride and play polo. During the early days of polo in Brunei, they used Sabah ponies, and H.M. The King used a big horse. In 1976 was the founding of the Royal Brunei Polo Club with the first field at Brakas Military camp. Ambassador Hussein was called "Jim" in those days, and now his son, "Jimmy" is a 1 goal player who plays on the Sultan's polo team. The Ambassador's wife, Pengiran Julian, is also a keen athlete who is often found on the golf course. The Nusantara Polo Club now has over 50 horses (31 horses from SEA games in Thailand and 24 horses previously brought into Indonesia). They have already had three tournaments this year -- The Beginners Cup (in May); The Nusantara Cup (28 June); and the Hashim Djojohadikusumo Trophy (12 July) with 2 teams and 1,200 spectators. Bowo played in the latter two of these tournaments and secured 4 goals in each tournament for his team. The Nusantara Polo Club now has 31 playing members and more than half are Indonesians. The upcoming tournaments will be the International Cup on 29-31 August 2008 (with Indonesia, Portugal (Mario), and Johor (Sultan's team). Playing for Indonesia will most likely be Nico, Billy, Novell, and Bowo (alt: Acep) which will be a 4 goal team. Nico Curto explains that it has been a great honor for him to help train the Indonesia team. "Bowo is amazing," he says. He is easy to talk to and easy to find the solution. Nico has found the Indonesians to be very polite; they understand and never complain. There are now 80 Indonesians working at Nusantara Polo. Nico says the most difficult thing for him to get used to has been the spicy food, and his Bahasa is coming on too -- "Tidak Apa Apa."

Polo action at the new Nusantara Polo Club outside of Jakarta

Prabowo on the field.  Indonesian polo players.
Prabowo on the field -- Indonesian polo players after a good game

The stately and beautifully decorated polo clubhouse.
The new clubhouse at Nusantara Polo Club

Ana who manages all affairs for the club.  Novell in action for the Indonesians.  Polo Manager and Indonesia Team Coach and Polo Instructor Nico Curto --
"Ana" Bobane Silvana is the club Secretary -- Indonesian polo action -- Polo Manager Nico Curto

  Los gauchos   H.E. The Brunei Ambassador with his wife Pengiran Julian - he is a former polo player, and she is a keen golfer.
The Gauchos (Diego Martinez, Nico, Iqbal Dellah, Carlos Gonzales, Ruben Lamarque) -- H.E. The Brunei Ambassador and Pengiran Julian

An expeditionary team from Nine Dragons Hill Polo Club visited Queensland, Australia in the first week of July for polo training, horse buying and mainly having a good time. Brian, Gene, Gerry, Churo, Stan, Steve and Camille descended on the rural community of Beaudesert, the mecca of polo in Queensland with 15 polo fields, for 10 days of adventure in the outback. The trip began with a weekend tournament at Ginger Hunt’s Gold Coast Polo Club. Highlights of the 10 day trip were chukkas with famous patron of Australian and Global polo Michael King at his spectacular Elysian Fields estate, riding polo horses over the hills of Beaudesert with our host Wayne Glennie (3 goals), the Canungra rodeo and all the locally brewed Bundaberg rum. Thank you to Wayne and his beautiful wife Rona (0 goals) for sharing lots of tips and new techniques – especially Rona’s female perspective on tapping the ball and cantering in “circles of calm” to regroup before a game. The trip was a great success and we all look forward to the new horses arriving in China in preparation for the Nine Dragons Hill Royal Salute Polo Gold Cup, 18th-26th October.
It is off season for polo at Siam Polo Park, but this does not mean that the work stops. Dr. Chayapa Soonthornvathin has recently completed her 6 year veterinary degree at Chiangmai University and now she is caring for 54 polo horses at SPP for the rain season. She spent several months at VR polo working under Dr. Daniel Yanez and learning as much as she can about the care of polo horses. She says it is very different from anything she studied at university. Her colleague, Dr. Ped is caring for another 80 horses up in Khao Yai, and then there are 7 more horses still at VR that need looking after. Dr. Chayapa says that she is very keen to learn how to play polo, and she hopes she will find some time this season get get a few lessons. If anyone is in the vicinity of SPP, they are welcome to drop by and say hello to Pee Dang and Mau Chayapa. You can also email Dr. Chayapa if you have any questions --
a very hansome Gustavo Yanez -- manager of SPP and VR and Cabeze Grande of Thai Polo LeagueSIAM POLO PARK -- WILL MOVE TO VR FOR NEXT SEASON
Operations at Siam Polo Park will be moved to VR Polo Club this next season. The club is closer to Bangkok and may be more convenient for visiting members. VR has built a new field and is building a new clubhouse for SPP members. The old field at Siam Polo Park near Pattaya is in perfect condition and is available for use if someone is interested. The rules and fees for SPP will be the same as last year (except we believe there may be no monthly fee), and we will advise when the first club meeting will be, so that all can attend. Gustavo will be returning to manage VR and SPP polo in January 2009. If you would like to join SPP to play polo in Thailand or if you have any questions --
Email Gustavo and SPP -- or call Khun Dang 0818136673.

Nine Dragons in China is looking for a polo professional to work from now through October 2008 -- email for more details. We are expecting to see Churo back in Thailand in November 2008 where he will spend 4 months at Polo Escape.
Khun Vichai with Prince William at Ham Polo ClubTHAILAND WINS CHAKRAVARTY CUP AT HAM POLO CLUB
On 14 Jun 2008, there was a charity polo match at Ham Polo Club in London between Thailand King Power-La Dolfina and England Umbogo. Cambiaso and Khun Vichai were two of the players on the Thailand team. Prince William and Ed Goodman (USA) and some professional players made up the Umbogo team. It was a very enjoyable match to watch on a splendid sunny day after a delicious lunch at the clubhouse. Gusy and Peter were the umpires and the final score was Thailand 6.5 and England 6. The following day, everyone attended theLas chicas mirando el principito Queen's Cup Final at Guard's Polo Club on Smith's Lawn. This was very exciting polo with Ellerston starting out behind Sumaya and then coming back from behind to win 10-9. Gonzolo Pieres had some brilliant high speed drives down the field and the commentator kept telling everyone what a "cracking" good match it was. Khun Suzy, Khun Robin and Khun Ploy were on hand to support the Thai team as was Eric Barthe, Gustavo and Pepperoni. Flaca had her moment standing next to Prince William, but the batteries in her camera were dead. This was the first time we have ever seen Khun Top on the sidelines, but he was a "cracking" good spectator. Teet Tal was also back on a horse after two and a half months as a monk in Kalasin, and he said he was ready to play. Gustavo and Pepperoni will be in UK until September.

Thailand polo in England -- Summer 2008

Bobby and Ball    Brunei - Thailand friendship match

Her Majesty presenting her Cup to Ellerston on Smith's Lawn    Cambiaso at Ham Polo Club




This summer, Brunei came to play with Thailand at an informal match in England. Mr. Simon came to the field to express his interest in bringing a UK team to Thailand to play this coming January/February. This would be a friendship and organizational match to prepare for the 4 goal City Polo Championships in Coworth, England next June. The tournament currently currently has 6 teams from financial institutions in London. This year the teams came from Barclays, Fox-Davies, ING, Merrill Lynch, Millennium Global, Mirabaud and the idea next year is to include a team from Thailand and Brunei. They anticipate 400 private guests with breakfast at Harrods in London. For more details -- Email
Shilai Liu, Rong Su "Big Su," Nan Liu, and Sebastian (3 goals) are planning a polo visit VR Polo Club in late October on their way to Argentina. Shilai is China's top polo player. He has played in Australia, Argentina and recently won two polo tournaments in Palm Beach, USA, so he will shortly be moved up to a 0 goal handicap. His teammate Big Su is a Mongolian film director from Beijing who loves polo and is well versed in the history of the Tang horse and the Xi'an Dynasty as well as Genghis Khan's horse tactics in warfare. Shilai is an connoisseur of Chinese tea and he can always be seen with his flask of Oolong tea on the side of the polo field -- much like an Argentinean Gaucho with his Mate. Needless to say, these are great gentlemen from China and we are looking forward to their visit.
This year, Nine Dragons will be hosting two prestigious tournaments in a high profile weekend of polo. On 23, 24, 26 October will see the return of high glamour 3-day Royal Salute Gold Cup 11 goal polo with the final being held on Sunday 26 October. Cartier makes their polo debut in China with an exhibition high goal match on 25 October with two 18 goal teams. It is believed that Thai Polo Club and James Manclark from Scotland will be returning to compete for the Gold Cup. We will bring you more details about this tournament in due course. 
The Thai Polo and Equestrian Club is organizing an Elephant Polo Tournament in late November.
Some interviews are just too good not to share with the world. We found this one in a Chinese magazine called Polo Life. It is an interview at the Nine Dragons Hill Polo Club in China with the Argentinean Vet and Polo player -- Ramiro Pellegrini. We have to admit that this interview was conducted in English, translated into Chinese, and then back into English, but the result is just priceless. The Chinese editor asks, "what is the most important thing to learn when starting to play polo." The Argentine Gaucho replies, "I believe that it is important to learn a bit of everything to give the players a basic overall concept about polo, and realize the addiction! There is a funny saying that learning to play polo should be like a woman's skirt - not too short, because if it's too easy you will lose interest, but also not too long, otherwise it will be perceived as an impossible challenge." So there you have it.... Let's play polo.
Steve Wyatt organized a very successful Players Polo Tournament at Nine Dragons Hill Polo Club over two consecutive weekends on 3/4 and 10/11 May 2008. There were 4 teams: Red Dragons, Purple Pandas, Pink Panthers, and Green Frogs. Each of the teams fielded several new players from Shanghai and Beijing. Australian professional Wayne Glennie was specially flown in for this tournament. The tournament also attracted polo enthusiasts from all over Asia as visiting players flew in from Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, USA, Argentina. Polo clinics were organized during the week, so new players could practice and learn from more experienced players. Grace was on hand with her camera, and there was even a special half-time 21 truck demonstration on the first weekend to test the strength of the polo field. The Red Dragons showed the strongest team-play during the tournament with very solid passing and good team formation. The Pink Nine Dragons Expeditionary Polo Team -- Players Tournament 2008 -- Zhapu, ChinaPanthers led by Gene had some very good passing and interchange, but started to lose momentum due to fouls. The Green Frogs were led by Shilai being fed from the back, and the Purple Pandas came alive with very inspirational defense from Brian Xu. The finals were between Red Dragon and Green Frog, with the Frogs trouncing the Dragons on the final day. We would like to thank Johnny Wong for excellent umpiring of 48 chukkas over the two weekends. The horses were in excellent form and the weather was cool and perfect for polo. Gene and many of the beginner players began writing THE RED BOOK OF HOW TO PLAY POLO (complete with Chinese Polo Terminology). We will share this "work-in-progress" with you as it develops. Polo manager and vet Churo gave us a very special interview before he left on his Camel Safari to Vietnam and we will be sharing this with you soon. He gave us some very good tips on how to ride the horse and play polo. 


Louisa, Mario and Nippy at Siam Polo Park for the HORMEGAS CUP 2008HORMEGAS CUP
On 26 April 2008, the End-of-Season "Hormegas Cup" was played at Siam Polo Park between three teams. Siam Polo Park, Indonesia and Polo Escape faced off on a polo field full of ants. Some of the players were not aware the ants were there, but others had prepared themselves by wrapping their necks and chests with towels. Khun Robin was especially grateful to Khun Daeng to have the opportunity to play with so many ants. The interesting thing about playing polo with ants is that the ants bite, and when a horse rides in front of you, then are kicked in the air and land all over your face and neck. Polo Escape fielded a team with William, Suzy, Robin and Joaquin. Siam Polo Park was represented by Marco, Tom, Bruno, Sean. The Indonesians were led by Nico, Pepin and Mario Miguel from Horseshoe Point. All of the games were very close. Ants were flying everywhere. Players jumped off their horses between chukkas to remove as many of the ants from their faces and arms and chests as they could. In the end, the clear winner of the day was the ants. It was a great honor to have Mario playing with us and he shared his passion for the horse with us after the game. Mario has been playing polo for about 6 months. He is working for Khun Bowo at Horseshoe Point riding his Lucitano horses. Mario is a bull fighter -- on ground and on horseback. On the ground, it is called "Matador" and on horseback it is called "Cavaleiro" or "Tauromaquico." Mario says his great love for the game is that it reminds one of "that edge that you have between life and death." His father was a matador (non-professional) and a breeder for bull fighting. Mario is the 4th generation in his family that "is playing with the bulls." Three years ago, Mario received the bull's horn under his chin, so he knows how fine the edge can be. On horseback, when the bull comes out, you can see the horse's "ears are looking" at the bull. "They are the intention," he says. The horse does 1/2 our work, so you try to read the bull's mind. If it is a good bull, he will follow the line. It is then easy to make the contest exciting. Like polo, Bull fighting on horseback was used for training for warfare. Mario says the problem with polo is learning to stick and ball and to understand the rules. These are the difficult parts. Thank you to all staff and grooms at Siam Polo Park for a fun season of polo.
This is what happens when you don't win the Songkran Cup -- Ice Water recipients 2008.Tacos in the air -- Fearsome Yellow bearing down on Khun Robin of Polo EscapeKING POWER GOLD CUP & SONGKRAN CUP
On 5-6 April, King Power Gold Cup was played at VR polo club. VR team lost to King Power team in the last minute of play when Gustavo yelled to Eric Barthe to get "TOP," but Eric thought he said "STOP," and Khun Top carried on to goal. In the final between King Power and Polo Escape, Marco and Matias played beautiful open field polo feeding Robin and Suzy in front. It was an exciting game to watch with King Power missing almost 7 goal opportunities. El Campeon de La Vida, Pepperoni, was playing beautifully at back with Daniel giving Matias a very very difficult time. At the final bell, it was King Power taking the Gold Cup by a very narrow margin. Now, this left the two teams of VR and SPP to play for the remaining cup -- which is called the SONGKRAN CUP -- and which is a very special cup in Thailand. There was a player recruited from the Elephant Polo tournament in Chiang Rai especially to be on the SPP team. The play was very fierce with VR team led by Khun Vichai scoring some early goals. It was the
Previous Songkran Cup Recipients -- Pepperoni and Daniel -- join Khun Top, Joaquin, Bruno winning King Power Gold Cupfinal chukka when Lukas recovered from his Colombian Expedition and the new player recovered from his 13 hour drive back from Chiang Rai that the SPP team came into action. They scored three powerful goals with Khun Ploy showing very good form, and the VR team became very nervous, but it was too little too late -- yet again for the SPP team, and then all the photographers gathered for the presentation of the dreaded Ice Water on the 4 seated players. This was Khun Ploy's first time on the receiving end of the Ice Water, and she was not happy. Khun Tsu and Lukas had never received this honor before too, but after Colombia, it just did not matter. It was a great combination GOLD CUP and SONGKRAN CUP with Khun Tuk awarding the trophies and Khun Vichai awarding the first dose of the Songkran Cup. Thank you to everyone for a very good season as Tuesday, Gustavo returns to Argentina. Matias returns Saturday. Joaquin received a severe haircut from all of his gaucho friends and we will not be seeing him until Yamilla is able to fix his hair. He is looking very similar to Tit Tal (now serving his monkhood) at the moment.


(Hugh ventured all the way to the north. His pictures on --
This year's King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament was held from 1-6 April on a beautiful field on the banks of a river in Chiang Rai's Golden Triangle looking across to the jungle in Burma. 12 teams took to the field, and it was a week of intense competition between polo legends from all corners of the globe. Khun Joy graced all with her presence on the final two days as she joined the Nellie team and helped them to score their first goal of the tournament. Mercedes played brilliantly and captured the King's Cup with brothers Oliver and Niffy Winter in good form and Hugo Goetz a very solid back in his German Infantry helmet. Chivas Regal was charismatic as usual with Manclark, Prentice and Robert Mullis assisting Angad Kalan. The Tickles and Ivories made it into the semi-finals for the first time in elephant polo history, and they had worked for this a long time. Audemars Piguet was led by an inspired Uday Kalan and played very well with the game of the match between them and Chivas in the Semi-finals. William Roberts played his first ever elephant polo with Kristjan Edwards and Raimonland going for goal -- Photo by HughTom on the Raimonland team and enjoyed tremendously playing the WEPA legends with Chris Stafford, Geoffrey Dobbs, Raj Kalan and Bjorn the gunner at back. This year, the elephants were excellent and very equal in ability. Umpire John Roberts officiated brilliantly on the field and informed us that this year, many of the elephants used in the tournament had come off the streets of Bangkok. This seemed to be a very good way to get the elephants and their families back close to nature and away from the dangerous streets of city traffic. The Elephant Polo Auction conducted by Sir Geoffrey raised over 1.1 million Baht for Elephant Conservation and the Elephant hospital in Lampang. Four Seasons tented camp led by Ed Storey, Jason and Taweesak were on fire this year with a brilliant surprise victory over Mercedes. The most handsome team of the tournament was definitely IBM from Madrid Polo club and they had so much fun, they will be back next year. For more information -- -- or call Khun Kae -- 0818832274.
For the latest updates during the tournament --
Mercedes Benz
Chivas Regal
Audemars Piguet
Dubai World – Tickle & the Ivories
Four Seasons Tented Camp
PricewaterhouseCoopers – WEPA Legends
TAT team
Raimon Land
IBM – Madrid Polo Club
Anantara Team
Anantara Visitors Team
Ladies Team – The London Nellies
China's first polo visitors to ThailandCHINA POLO VISIT
On 26 March, the first polo players from China came to visit and play at several polo clubs in Thailand. The China Polo Expedition was led by the gaucho Churo who is now the chief gaucho at Nine Dragons Hill Polo Club south of Shanghai in China. Churo has been training the Chinese players Dina, Brian and Gene. Dino and Gene have only been playing for one month and they are already very keen on the game. Brian Xu is an old hand at polo who played as a Polo Ambassador in last year's Royal Salute Gold Cup in China. The three Chinese players were accompanied by Stjin Welkers who is also an active supporter of the Chinese club. The Chinese visitors played at Thai Polo Club on Thursday and Friday. They played at Siam Polo Park on Saturday, and they were due to play at Polo Escape on Sunday. On Saturday, we saw them in action. Dino was a terror on the field; a very active number 1 player, he was out in front and carried several balls down to goal. Gene has tried almost every sport you can imagine, and if you leave him half an inch, he will walk the ball straight into goal as he showed us. Brian Xu demonstrated his long experience with polo and followed Dino on several runs to goal. Stjin was in very good form as well. He was hitting the ball very well and scored a tremendous goal under pressure. It was great to see the Chinese players visiting the gauchos in Thailand, and we are very grateful to the gaucho Churo for making this great event happen. If you are interested in playing polo in China -- Email Churo.
Franco Penizzotto's polo fans in San JuanSAN JUAN TOURNAMENT
We heard from the Thai Gaucho Franco Penizzotto in Argentina. He has been organizing the tournament in San Juan and he wanted to share this very important photo with his gaucho friends in Thailand -- 
POLO ENGAGEMENT -- Joaquin & Yamilla
The gaucho Joaquin Arrieta has recently announced his engagement to his lovely fiancé Yamilla Bornancini. "Yamilla" is Arabian for "Sweet" and this story was too sweet to not share with our polo fans. The wedding Joaquin "thinks" will be on 14 June 2008, and he "thinks" it will be in Villa Dolores. He proposed to Yamilla 3 years ago, on the very first day they met, in "La Luna" -- Love at first sight. Yamilla was studying "Psychologo" in Cordoba. Joaquin is the manager at Polo Escape, and now Yamilla has been in Thailand for 11 months and loving it. She also loves Polo Escape, because it is beautiful and she loves horses and to be close to the nature. Her dream is to be happy in her life, and she thinks the most special thing about Joaquin is that he is a nice guy with everyone, a very hard worker, and he is genuine person. Normally, when there is an gaucho engagement in Thailand, there is also a haircut -- as Pepperoni recently found out -- but so far, Joaquin has eluded the haircut. Khun Suzy was winking and hinting that this "Christening" should occur... so stay tuned and consider this a pre-haircut photo. Three months will be time enough for it to grow back... Joaquin receiving his haircut from the gauchos -- Joaquin and Yamilla were married in June 2008
Stijn reports that on Sunday 23 March, Nine Dragons Hill Polo Club in Shanghai organized a Polo Club Easter Party for its members. The day involved Easter egg hunts, face painting, horse painting, trail, carriage and horse rides, dressage and show jumping performance and of course polo chukkas in front of the club house. Steinway pianos brought a grand piano and a child prodigy pianist played while guests enjoyed the BBQ lunch. The horse painting was a great hit with the kids as can be seen on Pixie, the 1 ton Percheron pulling the carriage with 4 guests. The BBQ was held on the verandah which was very comfortable with the sun warming the cool 15 degrees Celsius outside temperature. Grooms and members made a great display of formation riding in top tails, followed by 4 exciting chukkas played with 7 of the 9 new Chinese players undergoing the 10 week polo playing course. The teams were captained by Chief Gaucho Churo and Stand-in Stijn Welkers after Chairman Steve Wyatt decided to pull out after a hard landing the previous week. The new players showed their grit and determination with several goals being scored by players who had been on a horse less than 10 times in their life. (Pictures showing Churo hooking Stijn, and the other action shot is Brian Xu going for a big shot.) On another note: in late February, Farrier Federico joined the Nine Dragons Hill Club. The 26 year old Argentinean had previously worked at the Singapore Polo Club for a year before going back to Argentina for some additional training and then finally joining NDH. Federico says Nine Dragons Hill is a great club with gives him a lot of satisfaction because he has the chance to do many different jobs in addition to shoeing horses. Also he has started playing polo under tuition of Churo and he says that is a big bonus that he would not get in many other clubs. He also does not seem to upset about meeting some attractive ladies in Shanghai judging by his happy face in the picture with Camille Fuller and Hema Kumari.
Ladrones -- under the lights at VRLADRONES AT THAI POLO LEAGUE
And this is what your friends can do for you when you come late for polo... One of the gauchos was late for the final day of play in Thai Polo League. While he was on the field, his gaucho "friends" removed several of the wheels from his vehicle and left it standing up on bricks. After the game, all the teams were receiving their prizes and then the late gaucho was presented with a very special prize -- his rear wheel was rolled out in front of him. The lesson is "don't come late to polo" -- even under the lights at VR.
20-23 MAR -- THAI POLO LEAGUE -- VR SPORTS CLUB Thai Polo League Champions -- Captain Ploy receiving the trophy from her father Khun Bhinsaeng Kanoksakdi.
The exciting conclusion to Thai Polo League at VR was nothing short of riveting. SPP claimed a solid victory against Polo Escape on Thursday's play, but they were then taken off the line by a dynamic King Power Team. Previous weekend's Triple Crown Winner Aron Harilela came down on day one and broke his collar bone, but even under the effects of intense pain and codeine, Aron hosted a full expedition Friday evening at his Holiday Inn Hotel in Silom with a delicious Indian dinner and an open bar. Polo Escape played tremendous polo with Suzy on and off the field, as she later took up the command coaching position for the team. They stunned Black Dog in a great game of polo and claimed victory. The VR polo team started out LAST PLACE in the League. No one really expected very much from them, because of such a poor initial performance. However, suchTPA Committee Member -- Khun Bhinsaeng Kanoksakdi -- presents the High Scorer Trophy to Marco. is the nature of polo that the VR team was able to climb back slowly due to the arrival of Khun Ploy in pole position to lead the VR team to Thai Polo League victory. The Man-Of-The-Match went to Khun Marina from Polo Escape for her brilliant stealing the ball from VR player and League Director Gustavo Yanez. Marina took the ball away from him, turned her pony, and took the ball all the way down into the goal. The fans were cheering wildly at this splendid effort. The match of the League was between arch-rivals King Power and Black Dog. King Power had claimed a 1/2 goal victory during their first meeting at Polo Escape. King Power was in first place in the League; Black Dog was in last place. Black Dog was feeling the strain that comes with age as they faced off against this young and agile team. But when the dust settled, it was Black Dog that was still standing with a nail-biting 1/2 goal victory at the final bell. All of the umpiring during the tournament was of the highest standard, and everyone's polo improved considerably during the intensive league play. Khun Marco of SPP team received the trophy for highest goal scorer with 34 goals during league play. Sunday night, Khun Ploy's father was on hand to present the trophy to Khun Ploy and her VR team and everyone assembled for a team photo. All were grateful for the hard work and tremendous hospitality from the three clubs -- Polo Escape, Siam Polo Park, VR Sport Club -- and also expressed their gratitude to the League Director Gustavo Yanez for good organization and great success of the First Polo League in Thailand. Any questions, contact the League Director -- Gustavo Yanez -- 084-4682735.
Members of the teams of Thai Polo League 2008.
First Place -- VR Team (led by Khun Ploy)
Second Place -- King Power
Third Place -- SPP
Fourth Place -- Black Dog
Fifth Place -- Polo Escape

4:00pm -- SPP vs. POLO ESCAPE -- 9-4.5
5:00pm -- VRSC POLO TEAM vs. KING POWER -- 6-6.5

4:00pm -- VRSC POLO TEAM vs. SPP -- 9-2.5 (scoreboard broken again)
5:00pm -- BLACK DOG vs. POLO ESCAPE -- 6-8.5 (good game, Tal and Daniel help)

4:00pm -- BLACK DOG vs. VRSC POLO TEAM -- 2-11 (scoreboard not working)
5:00pm -- KING POWER vs. SPP -- 6.5-6 (very exciting game, good umpiring)

4:00pm -- KING POWER vs. BLACK DOG -- 6-6.5
5:00pm -- VRSC POLO TEAM vs. POLO ESCAPE -- 9-7(?)


We played last weekend 19-20 April at Siam Polo Park. The Teams were -- Polo Escape: Susy, William, Graham Bones, Nicola (Argie based in Jakarta looking after Indonesian horses in SPP). Siam Polo Park: Marco, Stijn, Robin, Bruno (Sat)/ Joaquin (Sun). On Saturday Siam Polo Park beat Polo Escape in a hard-fought match with some excellent play from Robin scoring several goals with long runs toward goal. Stijn scored a sneakie goal with a nearside steal from Nicola followed by a nearside neckshot that just made it through the goalposts. On Saturday Polo Escape vowed revenge, but was 6-4 behind after the 3rd chukka. In the 4th chukka, PE pulled up its socks and closed the gap to 7-6. With only seconds to go William got awarded a 60 yard penalty which he thundered through the goalposts leaving the PE players shaking their heads in disbelief. Not quite revenge for PE, but still not a bad result. Did not get a lot of pictures, Hema was playing with the camera so here some action series of me and William turning hard. Report filed by Stijn.

Triple Crown victory for Aron Harilela. Aron arrived at SPP to Captain the SPP team on behalf of Hong Kong Polo Club. After their victory against Black Dog team, he was recruited on Day 2 to play for Black Dog team against Polo Escape; he won again. On Day 3, he returned to SPP and defeated Polo Escape again (but narrowly). Aron led a full expedition on Friday night to the -5* Supper Club, and the entire Dog Team had to pull every ounce of energy out to stay the course on the following day with three of their competitors suffering greatly. Eric scored the goal of the match in the final seconds with a fantastic backhand. The new commentator from VR team amused the entire crowd as he pointed out William was playing against 7 players. The VR team defeated King Power and smashed the other team that they played on Sunday. King Power captured another victory against Polo Escape and maintains their place at top of the League. SPP is moving up the League standing with Marco currently top scorer in the League and El Campeon de La Vida has a new haircut. Khun Ploy joined the VR team and helped defeat King Power. Polo Escape had a very close game against SPP with a 1/2 goal margin in the last seconds as Khun Robin made a run for goal -- a thrilling attempt that had all fans on the edge of their seats. William led stalwart attacks for Black Dog with Eric and Tom and Pietoon doing what they could to assist. (photos by Carolina).

The The Polo League played for 3 days at Siam Polo Park with 5 teams competing -- Polo Escape, King Power, VR Team, Black Dog, Siam Polo Park. Aron took the Triple Crown of the event leading his SPP Hong Kong team to victory and participating on the Black Dog victory as well. VR Team came from Last Place in the league with two solid victories. Polo Escape played inspirational polo with an especially nail biting game against Black Dog. VR hammered Black Dog on the final day, but only after a very tense first chukka where Black Dog stunned VR with the first two goals. Pepperoni was playing as a true campeon de la vida with Marco and Aron on SPP team.

3:30pm -- KING POWER vs. POLO ESCAPE -- 9.5-5
4:30pm -- BLACK DOG vs. SPP -- 5-8

3:30pm -- POLO ESCAPE vs. BLACK DOG -- 4.5-7
4:30pm -- VRSC POLO TEAM vs. KING POWER -- 9-6.5

3:30pm -- VRSC POLO TEAM vs. BLACK DOG -- 13-2
4:30pm -- POLO ESCAPE vs. SPP -- 7.5-8
VR Team Ploy/Daniel 0 Noo 0 Lukas 2 Gustavo 3
Thai Team Top 0 Tal 0 Tsu 0 Boon 0
Polo Escape Susy 0 Robin 0 Mathias 2 Joaquin 0
Black Dog Eric 1 William 2 Tom 1 Pietoon/Aron 0
SPP Marco 2 Pepperoni 2 Thumb 0 Aron 0
Khun Vichai playing the LeagueTHAI POLO LEAGUE
The Thai Polo League has arrived in Thailand. The League is played between teams from polo clubs that are members of TPA with a handicaps from 0-6 goals. The purpose of Thai Polo League is to create unity in Asia Polo, to promote polo in Thailand, and to train Thai Nationals to play Internationals. The winning team of the league will win a free trip to England to play at Ham Polo Club. Every Saturday morning at 8:00am during the League Tournaments, there will be a Round Table Polo discussion led by the Director of the League to teach polo. Everyone is welcome to attend the Round Table for free. There will be talk and mini stick lessons. Horses will be available for hire. The League will invite China, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines and other countries to play as visitors in the League matches. The visiting team is invited for free as a guest (horses provided). The tournament will be played according to "Gung Rules" -- Winner 3 points; Tie 2 points; Loss 1 point. 4 Chukkas. Handicaps will apply. Trophy will be awarded from Thailand Polo Association. The League Dates and Venues are as follows:
14-16 MAR --  SIAM POLO PARK  
20-23 MAR --  VR SPORTS CLUB  
If you are interested in more information about THAI POLO LEAGUE, contact the League Director -- Gustavo Yanez
21-23 MAR -- FEI WORLD JUMPING CHALLENGE -- at Horseshoe Point -- -- If you have queries, please email or or call: 038-248026 between 09:00-17:00.
During the SEA Games in Thailand in December 2007, Malaysian team member Dato Mohammed suggested that there should be a SEA GAMES POLO MEETING in Kuala Lumpur on the weekend of 07-09 March 2008 where they would invite interested countries for discussion and a friendly polo match. We have recently received a message confirming the status of this wonderful initiative on 08 Feb 2008 from Peter Abishedanaden to the Gentlemen of polo -- We had originally scheduled 7th to 9th March to meet in Kuala Lumpur. However, with the impending General Elections in Malaysia likely to be held around that time, we are proposing a change in date and venue. The Royal Malaysian Polo Association is pleased to invite you to a meeting to set-up a South East Asian Polo Federation, to be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday 29th March at the Hyatt Hotel, in Kuantan, Pahang. Each country is invited to send two delegates to this meeting. This meting coincides with the final weekend of the Royal Panang National League and Merdeka League Polo Tournaments. All delegates are invited to watch the polo and to attend the social functions of this tournament. We will revert with more details of this event in the near future. The RMPA would be pleased to assist with hotel bookings at the Hyatt Kuantan. Please contact Mr Mohd Siraj at  who will be able to liaise with the hotel on your behalf. Please R.S.V.P. to  by 7th March 2008 of your country's attendance at this meeting. (We have noticed that the above email address mailbox is full and the emails are bouncing back. Hopefully, the email address will be functioning properly soon, so that people can respond).
There were 22 Camel Polo teams with 140 Camels assembled outside the town of Dalanzadgad in the Gobi Desert of Outer Mongolia in late February this year. The temperature was -18*C, and there was blowing snow and sand as the tournament opened. Over two days, 32 games (64 chukkas) were played on two adjoining sand fields for a spectacular show of Camel Polo. The riders use Bactrian Camels which have two humps, and their sticks are made of local wood (very heavy, strong and difficult to break) with rubber hose "mallet-heads" that are also difficult to break. The ball is a normal arena polo ball. The Camels have one single rein attached to their nose, and they run very fast. The saddle consists of a blanket with stirrups secured beneath the camel. You whip the camel to go very fast and call out the word "Chuu." There are 4 people on a team, and there are no fouls -- anything goes. Some players wear construction helmets. Mongolian Member of Parliment Oyunbaatar is the founding pioneer of Camel Polo. He comes from Umnugobi near Dalanzadgad and is a great lover of Camels. He led the Camel Polo ceremonies and we will bring the photos of this exciting contest soon -- -- contact Oyunna -- 
This Year Camel Polo results:
First Place -- Ogoomor Team (Manlai Sum, Umnogobi Province. Coach Galbadrakh).
Second Place -- Khondot Team (Khankhongor Sum, Umnogobi Province. Coach Sarankhuu).
Third Place -- Bayankhoshuu Team (Mandal-Ovoo Sum, Umnogobi Province. Coach Ganbold).


We have seen Khun Peter practicing very hard at Polo Escape recently, so it is obvious that Peter is preparing for his first ever polo tournament in Thailand. He even took a polo lesson from Cabeza in the rain, and he seems to have learned that he needs to turn his waist to get his swing in the correct position. Peter will be captaining one of the teams in the Seniors Cup. We will provide more news about this exciting tournament soon.
The Gaucho Terramoto Santos Anca has broken his lower leg (only one bone). He was being ridden off during match play in Argentina when his horse stumbled and landed on his leg. He is in very good spirits, but will have to spend 40 days prostrate drinking Fanta and dreaming about polo. Cabeza has warned him to go on a diet during this inactive period of recuperation, and we all wish him a speedy recovery, so he can increase from 6 goals to 7.
Sean under the neck....CHINESE NEW YEAR CUP -- POLO ESCAPE
Patpat is playing in her first tournament in the Chinese New Year Cup at Polo Escape on 23 and 24 February 2008. The event will be held at 4:30pm on Saturday and 7:30am on Sunday morning. The following teams will be playing Round Robin:
Polo Escape
Robin Lourvanij  ( -1 ) / Panita  Vongkusolkit ( -2 ) 
Kerry Lucas ( -2 ) / Graham Bones ( -2 )
Charlotte Marson ( -1 )
Matias Orlando ( 2 )
Total -2
Siam polo park
Graham Cox ( 0 )
Aaron Rayner ( -2 )
Anna Lowndes ( -2 )
Marco Focaccia ( 2 )
Total -2
Kuppa team
Gary Tiernan ( -1 )
Sean Longsteath ( -1 )
Stjin Welkers ( -1 )
Agustin Bernal ( 2 )
Total -1
The victory was for Siam Polo Park with the final score after two days:

Siam Polo Park 5 - Polo Escape 4
Polo Escape 6 - Kuppa 4
Siam Polo Park 4 - Kuppa 1

Polo action from Chinese New Year Cup at Polo Escape -- Patpat's first tournament (#2 in yellow)

Matias tries to hook NooTHAI POLO LEAGUE -- 15-17 FEB UPDATE
The Thai Polo League began with a roaring success at POLO ESCAPE on the weekend of 15,16,17 February 2008. There were three days of excellent polo at this new field, and everyone was very impressed at the beautiful facilities and the warm hospitality from Khun Suzy and Khun Robin and their Polo Escape team. The first day of polo saw exciting matches between Black Dog and Indonesia with Black Dog narrowly winning. The Indonesians were honored guests in the league playing in place of SPP. The other match was between Polo Escape and Thai Team. The Thai Team was asleep for the first chukka, but then they learned fast, and came on very strong in the final two chukkas, but it was too late. Day 2 saw a series of upsets as the Indonesians defeated VR team, with Patron Bowo on the sidelines and extremely thrilled with his teams performance, then polo history was made as an inspired Thai Team defeated their nemesis Black Dog for the first time ever in a very heated and exciting match. Day 3 saw a tense game between Polo Escape and VR team which ended in a 5-5 tie, and then the ever-improving Thai Team seemed to have really gotten their act together and demolished the Indonesians 7-1. TPA Chairman, Khun Vichai, was on had to play for VR Team with some very good passes up to Cabeza andDogs on attack with Thai Team some solid penalty shots as well. This leaves the VR team in last place after the first weekend of Thai Polo League. Can they recover and mount a come back from last place? We will find out in the next few weeks of Thai Polo League. There was an asado on Saturday night and then a long session of parting by some gauchos and dogs until the early hours of the morning. There was a playing of TEG on Friday night, and Maria Power and Cabeza were defeated narrowly. Gustavo Yanez organized a polo clinic on Saturday and Sunday morning that was attended by Khun Robin, Khun Patpat, and Senior Polo Team Captain Peter. Polo Escape now welcomes visitors to their club to eat and sleep in their polo hotel. For more information contact Mr. Joaquin -- mobile: 086-3422887. If you have any questions about joining the league -- contact Gustavo -- 084-4682735 --
3:30pm -- INDONESIA vs BLACK DOG -- 5.5-6 --
Umpires: Gustavo-Lukas
4:30pm -- THAI TEAM vs POLO ESCAPE -- 6.5-7 --
Umpires: Gustavo-Lukas
9:00am -- FREE POLO CLINIC -- everyone welcome.
3:30pm -- VR TEAM vs INDONESIA -- 8-8.5 --
Umpires: Fede-Matias
4:30pm -- BLACK DOG vs THAI TEAM -- 7-7.5 --
Umpires: Fede-Matias
3:30pm -- INDONESIA vs THAI TEAM -- 1-7 --
Umpires: Marco
4:30pm -- VR TEAM vs POLO ESCAPE -- 5-5 --
Umpires: Marco
VR Team Vichai 0 Noo 0 Lukas 2 Gustavo 3 Total 5
Thai Team Top 0 Tal 0 Tsu 0 Boon 0 Total 0
Polo Escape Susy 0 Robin 0 Mathias 2 Fede 3 Total 5
Black Dog Eric 1 Tumb 0 Tom 1 Marco 2 Total 4
Indonesia (for SPP) Hari 0 Billy 0 Novel 0 Nico 0 Total 0.

Indonesia on Attack  Suzy taking Thai Team to the boards  Now this is hard work! -- our man at work

Introducing the gaucho German Viale from Rio Cuarto, Argentina. German is 23 and he has 4 brothers and 3 sisters. We spent some time interviewing this gaucho during the first weekend of the Thai Polo League. We found a gaucho with passion for horses and the art of Jinetiada. German loves The Festival Nacional y Internacional de Doma y Folklore in the town of Jesus Maria. This festival has been going for 43 years now and it lasts for 10 nights starting on the first Friday of every January. The Caballos Criollos is the famous horse of Argentina that is used for herding cattle. German was introduced to this sport by "mi papa de corazon" and he follows it every year. He says that there are two ways to go to this festival -- either with a "Bota" (full of wine) or with a "Mate," but not with both. Also, you can either go to the festival with your girlfriend, or you can go "solo" -- because there are always many chicas at the festival. The festival is about the relation between the horse and the rider. The doma is the important ritual where the horse learns to be ridden. The most important thing is the patience. If you have confidence, then the horse will have confidence. You don't hit the horse. It is young; it takes time. To date, German has done the doma on about 80 horses. He explains that at the festival, the uniform of the gaucho or the jinete is very important. They must have bombachas, camisa, alpargatas or botas, full chaps, a boina or sombrero, a faja, and a panuelo. The most exciting part of watching the festival is the adrenaline. There are 3 catagories: Crina Limpia (hold only the horses mane), Grupa Surera (hold onto the surcingle), and Bastos con Encimera (with a montura gaucho - gaucho saddle). The best riders and the best show is the Bastos con Encimera according to German. Rofino Montier is German's favorite rider for Bastos con Encimera. He has a normal physique, age 48, and a strong silent tipo from Buenos Aires. The best Grupa Surera is Miguel Ordina - the champion, age 35, from Cordoba - and the best Crina Limpia rider is Fernando Vilches, who is German's friend, age 30, from Rio Cuarto. German explained that he has been working as a gaucho in Thailand now with his friend Daniel. They have had a very important job, because this past playing of the Thai Polo Leage was the first time that a polo horse bred in Thailand was played in Thailand. This was polo history. The horse was Sai Si -- bred by TPA president, Khun Vichai -- and German's friend Daniel (El Chancho) has been doing the doma on this horse. We know he did a good job, because Cabeza Grande did not fall of the horse in the first playing of the League. German gave us some photos of Jinetiada to share with everyone, and he welcomes people to email him --

German's friend -- Fernando Vilches -- from Rio Cuarto
The Festival Nacional y Internacional de Doma y Folklore in the town of Jesus Maria, Argentina - January 2008

Khun Ploy at high speed in the Women's InternationalTHAILAND WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL
On 9 and 10 February 2008 was the first real Women's International Polo Tournament ever held in Thailand. The event was held on Saturday at Polo Escape, and then due to rain at Siam Polo Park, the final was also held at Polo Escape. It was a two day tournament with three teams competing -- SINGAPORE, POLO ESCAPE, SIAM POLO PARK -- the names of the members of theKhun Suzy lifts the trophy with the winning team -- but where are the balloons? teams posted below. Last year, there were balloons flying all over the field, so we are sure there will be something equally exciting this year. IMPORTANT: By accordance with Thailand Women's International Tournament regulations, all "almost ladies" are required to play with "balloons" by tournament stipulation. Failure to comply with this regulation results in a two goal penalty imposed upon the "balloonless" team at the time the infraction occurs.

Saturday, 9 Feb -- at POLO ESCAPE
Sunday, 10 Feb -- at POLO ESCAPE (changed from SPP due to rain)
Khun Susy team won, and Singapore finished second. Rain on Saturday, changed the venue to POLO ESCAPE. Photos are available for sale -- -- Please support our faithful photographer, so that he will continue to come to our polo games.
Singapore: Anna Lowndes -2 Isabelle Larenaudie -2 Charlotte Marson -1 Graham Cox (with Balloons) 0. Total -5
Siam Polo Park: Susy Lourvanij -1 Ploy Binsaheng -2 Marina Galarza -1 Sean Longstreath (with Balloons) -1 Total -5
Polo Escape: Frances Leung -2 Kerry Lucas -2 Robin Lourvanij -1 Joaquin Arrieta (with Balloons) 0 Total -5
Gustavo hits a neck shotKING'S CUP POLO ACTION
The King's Cup 2008 was held from 27 Jan to 02 Feb at VR Sport club. There were 5 teams entered in the competition including Thailand, Dubai, Brunei, Australia and USA. Unfortunately, Indonesia had to drop out at the last minute due to a schedule conflict as the dates were changed due to the sad passing away of HRH The Princess Galyani Vadhana on January 2nd 2008. It was the first time that a USA polo team had ever played in the Kingdom of Thailand, and the USA team learned very quickly that polo is taken very seriously in Thailand as they were first matched up with Team Thailand and soundly defeated by a powerful Terramoto offence with Khun Top blocking on the hit-ins. The match up between Brunei and Australia was the most exciting of the tournament. Brunei fielding 3 Argentineans with Captain Pengiran Maharaja and a beautiful game to watch as the two teams battled on the field. Brunei came up on top both days, securing their place in the King's Cup finals. There was a very interesting game between Dubai and USA, where the two teams were tied 6-6 in the final chukka. USA player Gusy (the new polo manager of Ham Polo Club in London) missed two 30 yard penalty attempts due to his late night battles with Maria Power in the TEG competition, and Dubai closed the deal with a 7-6 victory. USA players Eric and Marco had excellent games and sent the other two USA players back to USA. It was a thrilling day of polo at the finals of the King's Cup. The sidelines were crowded with all manner of movie stars and former Miss Universe contestants, making it very difficult for the players to concentrate on the games. The Semi-finals between Australia and Dubai were thrilling, as Australia tried their best to attack on sturdy horses. A powerful combination of von Potobsky and Satar Khan moved the ball very well on attack with passes to an array of #1 players (Suzy, Robin, and HuaHin over 4 chukkas), Top out in front -- Thailand vs Dubaibut the 3
and 4 for Dubai were a powerful defense and consistently handed the ball up to Ali and Najieb for Dubai to claim a victory. There followed a performance of races between man and horse, then Bentley and horse on the polo field which grabbed everyone's attention leading into the final match between Thailand and Brunei. The field was level. Pengiran Maharaja was confident, yet not over confident, as he led the Brunei team onto the field for their first appearance in a Kings Cup final. It was a beautiful game of open polo with Brunei attacking ferociously and Thailand replying in true form with Santos Anca and Gustavo Yanez moving he ball very well along the field. Lucas also played a very solid defense for Thailand with Khun Top providing crisp passes up to Gustavo. It was a one goal game going into the 6th and final chukka, and then Thailand kept their cool and scored an additional goal to secure the victory as the time ran off the clock. Brunei had played extremely well, and it was perhaps the closest any team has ever come to possibly thwarting the 6 time victors of the King's Cup from their prize. Thailand won the King's Cup 2008. This year's sponsors: King Power, SCB, Julius Baer Bank, Thai Airways, Raimon Land, Pullman Hotel, AIS, LG, Amazing Thailand, TPA, Sport Authority Thailand, VR Sport Club.
Supanee Lourvanij(0), Matias Orlando(2), Federico von Potobsky(3), Satar Khan(4).
Aiyawatt Raksriaksorn(0), Lucas Lujan(2), Santos Anca(6), Gustavo Yanez(3).
YAM P.A. Rahim Kemaluddin(0), Gonzalo Bordieu(5), Gonzalo Fucci(5), Ignacio Bilbao(5).
Najieb Khoorhy(0), Martin "Facha" Valent(4), Ali Albarwadi(0), Gabriel Iglesias(4).
Eric Barthe(1), Marco Focaccia(2), Tom Claytor(1), Adolfo "Gusy" Casabal(4).

Brunei showing some stick to Thailand in the King's Cup final  Fucci under the neck for Brunei
Brunei's Captain, Pengiran Maharaja, up against Thailand and Australia

Hooking from the wrong side? -- Brunei vs Australia  Miss Thailand Universe with the Thailand King's Cup Polo Team.
Brunei vs Australia and the Thailand team relaxing with Miss Thailand Universe

27 JAN 2008 (4:30PM) -- Thailand vs USA -- 9-6.5
29 JAN 2008 (4:30PM) -- Australia vs Brunei -- 7-6
30 JAN 2008 (4:30PM) -- Dubai vs USA -- 7-6
31 JAN 2008 (4:30PM) -- Brunei vs Australia -- 10-8
31 JAN 2008 (3:00PM) -- Thailand vs Dubai -- 7-6
02 FEB 2008 (3:00PM) -- Semi Final -- Dubai vs Australia -- 7.6-6
02 FEB 2008 (4:30PM) -- Final -- Thailand vs Brunei -- 11-9
At the meeting for Thailand Polo Association held on 15 January 2008, Khun Vichai Raksriaksorn was nominated and re-elected to the post of Chairman of TPA. Also, in November 2007, Khun Vichai was invited to be President of the Ham Polo Club in England. Ham Polo Club was established in 1926 and is the only polo club in London. The General Committee of the Club were unanimous in their decision to elect Khun Vichai for a 4 year term with the following reference in their letter: "You and your family have been great supporters of our Club for some years now and it is the General Committee's practice to select someone who has devoted considerable time and effort to the promotion of the sport of polo. What you have achieved in such a short time in Thailand is remarkable and the General Committee were unanimous in their vote to ask you to do us the honour of accepting this position." After the successful realization of TPA's initiative to include polo in the 24th SEA Games in 2007, we will try to interview Khun Vichai to find out what his future plans are for TPA and polo in Thailand.
On 20 January, the Thai actor Sonram Teppitak visited VR Polo club to try his hand at polo. He was given instruction by gaucho Gustavo Yanez and by Thailand's top player Top. It turns out that Sonram and Top also went to the same high school. Sonram is promoting his new movie Rak Siam Tao Fah which will be released on 31 January 2008. We were all pleased that Sonram did not fall off the horse, and perhaps we will see him back on the field sometime soon.
On 11-13 Jan 2008, VR Sports Club organized the first ever "Wan Dek" Combination Cup Open in Thailand (and this was a real "OPEN" - because there were no handicaps applied). This is sure to be one of the most original polo tournaments ever held in the Kingdom. "Wan Dek" is the charming Children's Day tradition in Thailand -- where families spend time together with children -- and a perfect opportunity for a family tournament at VR Sports Club. A special tournament was designed by the tournament officials that included polo and golf. On the first two days, three polo teams competed on the field -- VR, THAI TEAM, BLACK DOG. On the third day, there was a golf tournament in the morning, followed by the final polo tournament in the afternoon. The polo scores were cumulative over the three days (3 points for first; 2 points for second; 1 point for third). The golf tournament was played "GUNG RULES" which means each of two team representatives took turn striking the same ball which was scored on each hole (3 points for first; 2 points for second; 1 point for third). The competition was fierce on both polo field and golf course. VR commanded polo victories over THAI TEAM and BLACK DOG on the first and second days. BLACK DOG led by Terramoto Santos Anca defeated THAI TEAM on the first two days. This led to an exciting conclusion on the golf field on day three. No one was sure if the 5 goal Terramoto knew how to hit a golf ball. VR team had Khun Vichai and Cabeza on the golf course, and there was much humor as Cabeza under pressure sliced his ball directly into the lake. The surprise was THAI TEAM players Top and Ton who were trailing after the first 9 golf chukkas, came on strong in the final 9 chukkas and VR was only leading by 1 point going into the 17th golf chukka. BLACK DOG then hooked and bounced. The THAI TEAM finished second and VR claimed a solid victory. The teams then assembled on the polo field for the final game. THAI TEAM played brilliantly against VR holding them to a very low score, then BLACK DOG, led by new coach Eduardo Anca, defeated VR 4-3 for the first time ever in polo history -- but it was too little, too late. VR won the polo and the golf and gained 6 points overall. THAI TEAM took 2 points for golf and 1 point for polo for a total of 3 points. BLACK DOG took 2 points for polo and 1 point for golf for a total of 3 points. Khun Tuk then presented the recycling Three-Horses Trophy to VR and a second place trophy to both THAI TEAM and BLACK DOG. It was a wonderful fun weekend with three splendid dinners of Italian, Japanese and Korean cuisine.
MARIA POWER -- Reigning TEG Champion -- in search of world domination off the polo field.TEG NEWS -- CHAMPIONSHIP 2008
After polo, the gauchos often gather in Casa Terramoto or Casa Cabeza for a good partido of TEG. These are not peaceful games, and they take longer than a Palermo Open, because they are about world domination. The gauchos may control the game on the field, but it has proven that Maria Power has emerged to control the game of World Domination (TEG) off the field. In the first game of 2008, Cabeza narrowly defeated Maria Power in the early hours of the morning (thanks to a strong defense by Eduardo Anca). Maria was not pleased and came on very strong in the second playing with a thorough victory. The score is now -- Cabeza (3). Maria Power (3). Lucas (3). Augustine (4). Gusy Casabal (1). Tom (1). The longest match ever played last Saturday from 10pm to 4am -- won by Augustine.
Peter Ristic from Germany is being welcomed at SPP.OTHER NEWS
The gaucho Terramoto Santos Anca has arrived in Thailand to play in the King's Cup with the Thailand Polo Team. It is strongly rumored that Terramoto may go up to 7 goals this year in Argentina. We have noticed that he is looking extremely handsome this year, and then we realized that this is because he has a new special friend back in Argentina named Maria Cuartero. Terramoto is ready to try some "Picardia Vanilla" during his visit, so that he will be ready for the King's Cup. Also, Overseas Member Peter Ristic arrived in January 2008 for some Stick and Ball practice and polo training at Siam Polo Park. SPP is the only Members Polo Club in Thailand. Members and Guests are welcome to Stick & Ball at the club on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday mornings are also possible. Contact Khun Daeng or Marco (tel: 0892235677) to arrange this. There is no stick and ball on Monday.
A very pround Khun Bowo with his Indonesia Team -- after winning semi finals in the Thai OpenROYAL SELANGOR DEFEATS INDONESIA IN THAI POLO "OPEN" 2008
The Mercedes-Benz - Credit Swisse Thai Polo "Open" was an 8-10 goal handicap tournament held at the Thai Polo Club in Pattaya from 5-12 January 2008, and competing for the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup. A total of seven teams took part in the tournament, namely Royal Selangor, Royal Pahang and Jogo Polo all from Malaysia, Hamburger Polo from Germany, Indonesia Polo Club, Singapore Polo Club and the local team, Thai Polo. Some sartorial elegance is always a part of any Polo tournament. This charity tournament was organized, as in previous years, by Mr. Harald Link, CEO of B.Grimm Group in order to raise funds for the Chitralada Vocational School Project of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and this year drew the largest number of entrants in the history of the event. The teams played out a round-robin format over the course of three days until only four teams were left to contest the semi-finals last Thursday. In the first semi-final, Indonesia scored a great victory over Singapore. The two teams were tied at 7 goals apiece going into the 4th chukka when a penalty put Indonesia one up. Estrada converted again for Indonesia and Federico replied for Singapore but it was too little too late as the final score remained at 9-8. The second game saw Royal Selangor take on Andrew Hine for Thai Polo against Royal SelangorThai Polo for a place in the final to face Indonesia. The Malaysian team started strongly and were 6-4 up at the end of the 3rd chukka. In the final chukka both teams swapped scores as Thailand fought desperately to narrow the gap, but when the final bell rang Royal Selangor were the winners by a 9-7 scoreline. The final day, Saturday, January 12, was a fantastic day of polo and family entertainment. On the field, Singapore came out of the blocks early to defeat local favourites Thai Polo 4-2 in the third place playoff match. This then left the stage set for the afternoon final between Royal Selangor and Indonesia. The final game was as close as they come with the ball changing directions constantly and free scoring from both teams. In the final minutes of the last chukka, Indonesia were trailing by just ½ a goal and Santiago for Indonesia had several good attempts at goal, but then Ed broke away and put the final goal away for Selangor, giving them an 8½-7 victory and the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup for 2008. During the final day of the event, guests also enjoyed a variety of entertainment in a classic atmosphere specially designed for horse enthusiasts. In addition to the sporting spectacle, a buffet lunch was provided in the air-conditioned Marquee and the polo field itself was surrounded by fun-filled activities for all the family to enjoy. Highlights included a Mercedes car show, kiddies pony rides, music by the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, games with many prizes and the traditional stomping of the divots between chukkas. And before the curtain came down on this year’s tournament, guests not only witnessed the cup presentation to the Royal Selangor team but also enjoyed an outside dinner party as the sun slowly sank below the horizon to end a wonderful day and a wonderful week’s polo. The Umpires were Tim and James Dixon with Santiago Estrada as 3rd man. The advertisement in the 10 Jan 2008 issue of the Bangkok Post invited visitors to the club from 11:30-18:00 on Saturday 12 January for the final.

  The Chukka Bar at Thai Polo Club
Thai Polo Clubhouse and spectators

On 22-23 December 2007, The Christmas Cup was saved and played at VR Sports Club. Previously, the Cup had been cancelled, but then it was revived and played. The teams were King Power, Siam Polo Park, and Black Dog. The Dogs were not on form, and King Power controlled the first day with two solid victories over both teams. Excellent passing by King Power and some very nice maneuvers on the field made it an enjoyable game to watch. However, on Day 2, Siam Polo Park came on strong in their final chukka and held King Power to a tie 3-3. Black Dog finished in Second place. We went to the Trophy Room and found a Trophy. Khun Ploy brought Gigi from Hong Kong to present the Trophy to the winning team in Blue. It was a fun tournament, with the final held on election day, so it was good to see Khun Un back on the field after over a year's absence. Khun Un was presented with some Nut Powder to celebrate his return to polo.

Siam Polo Park -- King Power -- Black Dog
at the Christmas Cup 2007
King Power receives the Trophy from Gigi - freshly flown in from Hong Kong

Khun Un with "Nut Powder" in hand returns to the field on Election Day
Ploy, Gigi, & Maria Power enlighten the field with their smiles


On 16 December, Khun Vichai hosted a Friendly Tournament for Pengiran Anak Haj A
bdul Rahim Kemaludin from Brunei and SEA Games Tournament Director James Ashton from Australia. Brunei was not able to make the SEA Games this year, but they are very enthusiastic about making it to the next games. Brunei in blue defeated VR in White 6-4 with several excellent goals from team Captain "Abang" (Big Brother). James Ashton was a terror on defense, and entertained all at dinner with stories of Australia's appearance at the World Cup in Germany in August 1989 as the Berlin Wall came down.
HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang giving tips to the Malaysian Team. The former King of Malaysia used to be a 5 goal player.SEA GAMES POLO
The 6-15 December 2007 SEA games has been a very exciting time for polo in Thailand. Thai Polo Association worked very hard to have polo entered into the SEA games for the very first time. The dream started almost 3 years ago, and in December, we got to see the action as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia took to the field. The action at VR Polo Club has been thrilling for fans of SEA games polo. 09 Dec 07 UPDATE: Malaysia has come on like a juggernaut demolishing every team in its path. Tengku Shazril performing like Cambiaso with brilliant handling of the ball at high speed. Indonesia is surprising all polo fans with their status as "most improved polo team in Asia" and have won many hearts and smiles from the sidelines. Singapore has brought a lot of experience to the polo field, but will they have enough horsepower to take on the Malaysians? The SEA games have been graced by the presence of HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang (the former King of Malaysia and a former 5 goal polo player) and HRH The Crown Prince Abdullah. Photos from day 1 of SEA games polo available from Khun Ae -- 13 Dec 07 UPDATE: A tremendous game between Thailand and Indonesia, with both teams in extremely good form. The Thais took it away in the third chukka, because of great team play and "velocidad mental." Great game to watch. Singapore clamed a spot in the finals against Malaysia by beating Philippines. Thai and Philippines will play for the Bronze. 15 Dec 07 UPDATE: A splendid day of polo with Thailand capturing the Bronze in a determined effort against a sturdy Philippine team. The Malaysians took the Gold over Singapore in a very fine game with solid team play by Malaysia. The former Chairman of Thai Polo Association, Khun Vichai Raksriaksorn, presented the medals to the Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand teams. Khun Tamanoon Wanglee, the Vice Chairman of the Thai Olympic Committee, gave a closing speech to a well organized tournament, and everyone hopes that polo may find its way into the Olympics some day in the future. Thank you to TPA and FIP for support of polo in Asia. CLICK HERE TO SEE SEA GAMES POLO PHOTOS

Khun Top "taking around" -- Asia Sports Photography   Tengku Shazril "on attack to goal" -- Asia Sports Photography
Khun Top on the nearside and Tengku Shazril charging past Singapore's Asad Jumabhoy

Malaysia Team -- Gold Medal (with Khun Link and Santi)
Malaysian Team Celebrating their Gold Medal with Khun Link and Santi

Thai Team -- Bronze Medal (with TPA committee members and the Vice Chairman of the Thailand Olympic Committee Khun Thamanoon Wanglee)
Thailand Team Celebrating their Bronze Medal with TPA Committee and Khun Thamanoon Wanglee (Vice Chairman of Thai Olympic Committee)

Indonesia Polo Team with Coach Jorge Ocampo -- The Most Improved Polo Team in Asia

James Ashton (SEA Games Tournament Director) & Thai Polo Team Member Tsu with his entire family from Muktahan

Singapore Team & Coach Philip Elliot were pleased with their Silver Medal

All polo games were held at VR Sports Club near Suvarnabhumi Airport.
06 DEC 2007 (3:00PM) -- Thailand vs Philippines -- 7.5 to 2.
06 DEC 2007 (4:30PM) -- Indonesia vs Malaysia -- 3.5 to 11.
08 DEC 2007 (3:00PM) -- Thailand vs Singapore -- 5 to 7.
08 DEC 2007 (4:30PM) -- Philippines vs Malaysia -- 1.5 to 11.
09 DEC 2007 (3:00PM) -- Indonesia vs Singapore -- 3 to 8.
09 DEC 2007 (4:30PM) -- Thailand vs Malaysia -- 3.5 to 14.
11 DEC 2007 (3:00PM) -- Malaysia vs Singapore -- 2.5 to 8.
11 DEC 2007 (4:30PM) -- Philippines vs Indonesia -- 5 to 3.5.
13 DEC 2007 (3:00PM) -- Thailand vs Indonesia -- 6 to 3.
13 DEC 2007 (4:30PM) -- Philippines vs Singapore -- 1 to 10.5.
15 DEC 2007 (3:00PM) -- BRONZE to THAILAND -- 7.5 to 2.
15 DEC 2007 (4:30PM) -- GOLD to MALAYSIA (SILVER to SINGAPORE) -- 9 to 3.5.

THAILAND - Apichet Raksriaksorn, Aiyawatt Raksriaksorn, Chanothai Songvanich, Tanasorn Tangcharoensathien, Thanasin Chuawangkham, Satit Wongkraso. (Coach: Gustavo Yanez)

- Satinder Garcha, Asad Jumabhoy, Peter Jerome Abisheganaden, Nisrab Musa Faizullah-Khan, Kin Hoong Lawrence Khong, Ban Tong Ang. (Coach: Satar Khan and Philip Elliot).

Acep Krisnandar, Pepen Ishak Supendi, Inen Sarnen, Novel Alva Momongan, Muhammed Harrifar Syafar, Wartono Wartono. (Coach: Jorge Fernandez Ocampo).

Saladin Mazlan, Shaik Reismann Mohamad Ismail, Tengku Ahmad Shazril Tengku Sulaiman (Along), Zulkhairi Kofle, MD. Adyrizal MD. Zamri (Eddy), Dato Mohamed Moiz Jabir Hohamed Ali Moiz. (Manager: Jamili. Coach: Ed).

PHILIPPINES - Jay De Jesus, Vicent Bitong, Antonia Veloso, Santiago Elizalde.


Chopard wins Elephant Polo Nepal 2007ELEPHANT POLO IN NEPAL
The 26th World Elephant Polo Association (WEPA) Championship 2007 was wrapped up with a Grand Prize Distribution ceremony on the 24th November, attended by the Ambassadors of the United Kingdom and Denmark with several Nepali dignities present, the proceedings began with a congratulatory speech by Jim Edwards, Chairman and Joint Founder of WEPA. The coveted Tiger Tops Challenge Cup was won by Chopard, the famous Swiss Jewelers from Hong Kong who beat Champion of 2005, Chivas Regal (Scotland) (7-4). The WEPA Amateur Trophy, donated by Chopard, was won by the Tiger Tops Tuskers Nepal/Iceland team. They beat the Australian Elephant Polo team (5-4) in a very tough match. Young Jack Edwards scoring during the last seconds of the game. An exhibition match between two local teams; National Parks and Tiger Tops played by their respective Mahouts, all professional elephant men, was the highlight of the games, ending in a draw. The event is organized by Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge at Meghauly on the edge of Chitwan National Park. Besides promoting the sport and worldwide publicity for Nepal, the World Elephant Polo Championships raises money each year for local regional charities and has supported schools, medical clinics and conservation efforts in the area throughout the history of the tournament.
King Power takes Loy Kratong Cup and Thai National Team tie Black Dog on day 2.LOY KRATONG OPEN CUP @ SPP
On 24-25 November, the Coach of the Thai National Team organized a tournament at SPP for testing the Thai Polo Team before the SEA games, and he won the tournament. Black Dog Team was invited out of retirement to play, and there is a bitter competition between Black Dog and Thai National Team. The Dogs managed to win on the first day, but the Thai Team came on full force on day two and tied Black Dog. It was a fun little tournament and Khun Tuk was on hand to award the prizes to King Power Team, Thai National Team and Black Dog Team.
Thai National Team ready for SEA games 2007AMBASSADOR CUP VICTORY FOR POLO ESCAPE
The weekend of 15-17 November 2007 saw perhaps the largest crowd in recent years at Siam Polo Park for the second playing of the Argentine Embassy Polo Cup. The three day tournament started on 15 November with 5 teams from Hong Kong, Singapore, Black Dog, Polo Escape and the Thai National Team. The tournament finals were played on Saturday the 17th in a brilliant battle between Polo Escape and Hong Kong. Aron Harilela captained the Hong Kong team and thrilled the spectators with magnificent play from his Pakistani professional, Hissam Hyder. The Polo Escape team, captained by Suzy Lourvanij, proved to be too much for Hong Kong due to a power interchange between the Von Potobsky brothers Guapo and Jose. Singapore was captained by the gracious and capable Philip Elliot from England, and all were amused by his verbal coaching expletives to his team during the coHis Excellency led an Argentine Tango demonstration at the Ambassador Cup Asadourse of play. The excitement of the day was the Thai National Team as they stunned the Black Dogs with a 3-0 lead during the first chukka. It took every ounce of energy from the old dogs to hang on, and the coach of the Thai team could barely control himself with the excitement. The Thai Team will be playing for real next month in the SEA Games against Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Dr. Indrapana, the Deputy Minister of Sport, who was on hand for the tournament, explained that this will be the first time polo has ever been played in the SEA Games from 6-15 December 2007 and it will be a very exciting occasion for Thailand. The SEA Games will be held at VR Sports Club (near Suvarnabhumi Airport). We would like to thank our five sponsors this year: King Power (platinum sponsor), Holiday Inn Silom, Coutts Bank, Mitavite (gold sponsors), Kuppa (silver sponsor) for their kind support of this tournament. This years teams:  KING POWER  (Chanothai Songvanich 0, Thanasin Chuawangkham 0, Aiyawatt Raksriaksorn 0, Apichet Raksriaksorn 0);  POLO ESCAPE  (Suphanee Lourvanij 0, Robin Lourvanij 0, Jose Von Potobsky 3, Federico Von Potobsky 3);  BLACK DOG  (Eric Barthe 1, Tom Claytor 1, Jamie Woodward 2, William Roberts 2).  HONG KONG  (Aron Harilela 0, Edward Carmichael 0, Marco Focaccia 2, Hissam Hyder 4);  SINGAPORE  (Ang Bang Tong 0, Lawrence Khong 0, Philip Elliot 4, Marcus Lim 0). Thank you again to our sponsors.

Mitavite is one of the sponsors of the Ambassador's Cup

The Coach of the Thai National Team celebrated his 37th Birthday on 11 November with a crushing defeat by the Thai National Team 7-3 at VR polo club. Normally, Cabeza does not like to lose. However, since he is the coach, he was very pleased that his team "rompe las pelotas." He was also presented with two buckets of ice water to celebrate his birthday and his great loss. There was a delicious Asado cooked by Julio after the game, and free beer from Top and Tal for the gauchos. Gauchos came from SPP and PE to join Cabeza on his Birthday. The actual birthday was on Monday, but Cabeza wanted to celebrate on Sunday and relax on Monday. Maybe this was just a tactic, so he could avoid getting a Birthday Haircut from the gauchos.
This year's Beginner's Cup was held on 10 & 11 November at Siam Polo Park with a host of real beginners. This tournament exemplified the spirit of what polo is all about -- bringing new players into the game. There were three teams playing in the Round Robin:  SINGAPORE POLO CLUB  (Graham Bones -2, Kerry Bones -2, Nyata -1, Tomas Lockey 0);  POLO ESCAPE  (Ploy -1, Susy Lourvanij -1, Sean Longsthreath -1, Stjin Welkers -1);  SIAM POLO PARK  (Yasser El Fahham & Scott Stevens -2, James Bean -1, Henry Rourke 0, Jaime Miranda -1). On Saturday: Sing 4 vs SPP 1; Sing 2 vs PE 1; PE 2 vs SPP 3. The finals were on Sunday with Singapore claiming the victory with final scores: Sing 6 vs SPP 2; Sing 4 vs PE 2; PE 4 vs SPP 3. We heard that Jaime fell off his horse. Ray Walton has taken some fine photographs which are available on -- -- Thank you Ray. The history of the Beginner's Cup is as follows: The first playing was in 2001. The 2002 winners were Thailand Team (Nunthinee Tunner, Natthapon Tantayanurak, Nippon Raksriaksorn & Tim Patumlee); The 2003 winners were King Power (Vichai Raksriaksorn, Tal Raksriaksorn, Top Raksriaksorn & Marco Focaccia); The 2005 winners were Kuppa (Robin Lourvanij, Susy Lourvanij, William Roberts, Nattanart Bhinsaeng, Tom Claytor & Marco Focaccia); The 2006 winners were ACT (Susy Lourvanij, Eric Barthe, James Bean & Marco Focaccia); and 2007 winners are Singapore Polo Club (Kerry Lucas, Graham Bones, Tomas Lockey & Joaquin Arrieta). If you have more good photos -- email Tom.
Lucas LujanAgustin BernalJose Otto Von PatobskyNEW GAUCHOS
This year, we have several new gauchos to introduce at VR, SPP, and POLO ESCAPE. Lucas Lujan is a 3 goal player from Villa Dolores. He started playing polo when he was 9, and he is now 25. His favorite player is Cambiaso, and his philosophy about polo is "jugar polo pensando." He wants to reach 5 goals in his career, and his greatest teacher is his father. Lucas will be working at VR this season -- // Agustin Bernal is a 1 goal player from Mendoza. He is 38 and has been a practicing Psychologist in Argentina. His favorite shot is the "cola," and his favorite player is Cambiaso. His father and grandfather played polo and taught him. Agustin is a father of 2, but now "solo" on the Thai polo field. Agustin will be working at SPP this season -- // Jose Otto Von Patobsky is a 3 goal player from Villa Dolores where he plays at the Comechingones Polo Club. (The Comechingones is an Indian tribe from the mountains, but they are all dead now). His favorite shot is the "open back" and his favorite player is David Sterling, Jr (the 9 goal player from Uruguay). Jose started playing at age 10. He is now 26 and enjoys playing with his brother Guapo. His best teacher is Cambiaso who says "just play polo." His favorite picardia is "leave the ball," and his dream is to be a good professional on and off the field and to make polo safe and fun for his boss. Jose is fluent in English and Spanish, and he first came to Thailand in the very early days when Gustavo and Gonzalo were at GCP -- no email.
Yasser was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1966. He tells us that there are two polo clubs in Alexandria and 3 in Cairo. He started playing polo at the end of last season. He got lost on his way to SPP, and was welcomed by Thai Polo Club who put him on a wooden horse and gave him his first lesson. This November, he will be playing two chukkas in his first Beginner's Cup tournament. Yasser loves the physical, team, horse riding challenges of polo. "It is a different way of riding," he says, "and you need discipline to play well." Yasser scored his first goal in early November, so he feels ready for the Beginners Cup. Yasser's passions are Show Jumping, Wine, and Engineering. He is a plant manager in Thailand and enjoys working with people. "The smarter way of doing things gets my heart going," he says. Yasser speaks Arabic, English, Spanish, and understands French, Italian and German. He has been in Thailand with his wife and son for the past 2 years. Before that, he was in Australia for 10 years, South America for 3 years, and Malaysia for 4 years. He also spent 12 years in Egypt. Yasser has been practicing his off-side forehand and dreams to learn the off-side backhand. Everyone is welcome to come and cheer for Yasser in the Beginners Cup at SPP --
The Gauchos have been riding horses for a long time. They have gained a lot of experience over the years, so now it is time for them to write the book and share their experience with other people. There will be many chapters in this book, and different gauchos will author the different chapters depending on their experience. We will be hearing from Gauchos in China, Thai gauchos, Argentina gauchos, and Ferriers, as well. Don't miss this exciting tome as it unfolds....
The Royal Salute Gold Cup tournament at Nine Dragons 19-21 October 2007 was a roaring success. The 11 goal tournament attracted over 8,000 visitors over a 3 day period with 4 international teams and, most importantly of all, there were 6 very enthusiastic Chinese polo Ambassadors who took to the field and were able to demonstrate their enthusiasm for the game. Congratulations to Steve and Rachel Wyatt for their tremendous effort to pull this one off. Lao Tzu said that "the journey of 1000 miles begins with one step..." but sometimes that first step is a very precarious one.
Pepperoni in pain -- as he receives the coveted Songkran CupSONGKRAN CUP 2007
08 April -- Every dog has his day, but not for the Black Dog Team at this year's Songkran Cup. This year, we had a record 4 teams entered into the Songkran Cup. Such is the competition for this prestigious cup. It is special, because the winning team gets to award the losing team with several buckets of extremely cold ice water to ring in the Thai New Year. The first round between VR Sports Club and Black Dog was close in the first chukka, but VR severely beating the dogs in the second chukka. The second round between Kuppa and SPP was a very close game, with Jilly's Dad taking three determined drives down to goal, but Kuppa won in the end. ThisCabeza enjoys presenting the award produced a final between Kuppa and VR, and VR won the cup. However, all the eyes were on the two losing teams of SPP and Black Dog, because this is where all the fun is. It was an extremely close game with Simon DiPaola leading his team in a determined fight down the field. The Dogs were commanded by Pepperoni, and let a very determined defense. The teams were tied 1-1 at the end of the first chukka. The second chukka was tense, scoreless, until Pepperoni waited on a line to send the ball downfield, and SPP's Simon took it away and straight into goal. The Dogs were then forced to lay down and wait for many minutes until the ice water was poured upon them. It is interesting to note that every one of the Dog Team members has received this award before in previous years (Daniel, Tumb, Tom, Pepperoni), so this was a special reunion to have all previous recipients on the same team to receive yet again. Last year's triple-recipient of the Ice Water, Khun Marco, was this year a very keen ice water pourer -- as were Khun Top and Tal. Thank you VR Sports Club for this very fun event and for the delicious dinner. Khun Aktanai and Khun Tuk were on hand to present the awards.
VR TEAM: Top, Tal, Vichai, Cabeza.
SPP TEAM: Simon, Jamie, Susy, Tsu.
KUPPA TEAM: Marco, Robin, Matias, Noo. (reserve: Boong)
BLACK DOG TEAM: Pepperoni, Tom, Daniel, Tumb.  
Khun JJ presenting the Birthday Cake to Khun Vichai inbetween chukkas.  MIDNIGHT POLO 
On any given Wednesday - 04 April 2007 (00:00hrs) - for the first time in the history of polo in the world (as far as we know), there was a Midnight Polo Tournament held at VR Sports Club "under the lights." VR took Black Dog 3-1 in the first round after a tie in the first chukka. VR took King Power 5-3 in the second round with a tie after the first chukka and several determined drives down the field by King Power. Khun Top who was partially asleep in the first round transformed into Cambiaso The Midnight Polo Teams -- photo taken the second round. Khun Vichai, who managed to keep his horse awake, was also able to put away two goals and to receive his Birthday Cake in the middle of the two chukkas which gained him the coveted "man-of-the-match" award. There was a furious battle between King Power and Black Dog in the third round. Simon DiPaolo was on fire, but apparently his team has not been on enough late night expeditions together. They were showing signs of wear in the early hours of the morning and thought "El Perro que ladra no murde" (the barking dog does not bite), and the Dogs did bite in the final minutes of the last chukka with a final score of 3-1. Khun Tumb received "Man-of-the-Match" for the Dog Team and Khun Boong for the King Power Team. We tried to get Cabeza drunk before the match, but we were unsuccessful. It was a very fun tournament with Asado before polo under a full moon with fireworks across the field at 1:30 in the morning. Khun JJ was on hand to present the awards to the teams. Congratulations to VR for winning the BIRTHDAY CUP and to Black Dog for winning the MIDNIGHT CUP. VR Team - Top, Tal, Vichai, Cabeza. King Power Team - Simon, Noo, Daniel, Boong. Black Dog Team - Pepperoni, Tom, Tumb, Tsu. Umpires: Marco & Matias. Khun Vichai had previously asked Daniel and Cabeza to let the horses sleep during the day, so that they would not fall asleep on the field during the game. Cabeza assured him that "the horse playing polo never sleeps." This is a new refran for all the gauchos to remember -- El Caballo jugando polo nunca duerme.
Sometimes your polo elephant can run off the field and charge head first into a mini van. This was the case recently in Sri Lanka during the annual elephant polo tournament. No one is dead, but the elephant may have a headache -- -- It is not uncommon to have interesting situations occur on the elephant polo field as has been noted previously in Thailand.
About 20 kilometers Northwest of Mae Chan in Northern Thailand is a very special Temple nestled in the mountainous jungle called Wat Pa Archa Tong. The Abbot in this Temple was a former Thai boxer, and he takes in orphaned and difficult children from near the Burmese border and teaches them the "skills of life." The Abbot has 200 sturdy Thai horses which the young monks use to collect alms in the early morning, and in the evening, they are all practicing their "Muoy Thai" boxing skills in the boxing ring. This "tough love" that the Abbot has initiated, has been wonderful for these children and allowed them to build character and confidence in this vast and beautiful wilderness. At 6AM, the young monks and their elder leaders climb on their horses and head off into the mountains. It is surely one of the most enchanting images of man living in harmony with nature that you can find in Thailand today. A Dutch company has recently made a feature film about life in this far corner of the world --

Rules of Polo

Polo has many rules. In each newsletter, we will share with you a different rule, penalty or picardia (trick) to increase your understanding of the game.

Tommy Hitchcock's advice to his Westchester Cup teammates in 1930.

Try as hard as you can all the time. Do not let up for one second, and do not stop until the umpire blows his whistle. Keep your eye on the ball. Do not dribble the ball. Take a full swing at it every chance you get. There are few exceptions to this rule: (a) When shooting at goal, it is better to miss the ball altogether and leave it in front of the goal than to hit it over the backline. Therefore, a dribble or a short shot to place the ball in order to make a surer shot at goal is often justifiable. (b) In passing the ball to one of your own teammates, a short wide pass is often better than a long pass, as it reduces the hazard of an opponent getting the ball.

The player who gets away free with the ball should go at top speed the early part of his run in the hope that he may have a chance to steady himself for the last most important shot, the shot at goal. The ideal way to make such a run is to make an approach shot that can be picked up at the mouth of the goal, about twenty yards from it, thereby greatly facilitating the final shot.

Don't take the ball around by hitting under the pony's neck. There is practically no exception to this rule. A back shot, no matter how feeble, is safer than a shot under the pony's neck, which is very difficult to make when going at top speed. A straight forward shot to clear the goal is, of course, advisable. If you must take the ball around, don't make a great wide circle, but pivot the pony sharply in as narrow a circle as possible and hit a long shot directly for the opponents' goal.

Other Links

International Rules of Polo Polo Line (latest scores)
History of Argentine Tango  Argentine Polo Horses
Tango Lessons in Bangkok Argentine Polo Sticks


Polo Manager: Gustavo -- mobile: 084-4682735.
Post Address: VR Sports Club, 88/1-7 moo9 OnNut-Teparaj Road, Preng, Bangbo, SamutPrakarn 10560 Thailand.
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Club Manager: Khun Dang -- mobile: 081-8136673.
Post Address: Siam Polo Park, 100 M.9, T.Pong, A.Banglamung, Chonburi 20150. Fax: 66+38734940.
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Club Manager: Santiago -- mobile: 081-8352419.
Post Address: 111 Polo Drive, Pattaya, Thailand.
Map to Thai Polo & Equestrian Club

Club Manager: Joaquin -- mobile: 086-3422887.
Post Address: No. 9 Moo 13, Tumbon Huay Yai, Amphur Banglamung, Cholburi, Thailand.
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