Chivas Regal is proud to announce its team entry into The 19th Annual World Elephant Polo Championships held from December 10th through December 16th 2000.
WEPA was founded in 1982 and since its inception has hosted an annual championship tournament at WEPA’s international headquarters, Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge in Chitwan, Nepal. The exclusive, invitation only tournament is held every December on a grass airfield in Meghauly, Nepal and boasts a wealth of international talent and celebrities.
Chivas’ team is headed up by WEPA Committee Member and ex world champion Peter Prentice who says, “WEPA’s annual event brings together a truly maverick and international crowd – the focus is on sporting prowess coupled with tactical acumen and a true sociable spirit. The Chivas team’s key task is to be the winning team both on, and of course, off the pitch.”
The brainchild of the inimitable A.V.Jim Edwards (owner of Tiger Tops and an unmatched string of polo elephants) and the ex-British Winter Olympian and Round-the-World balloonist James Manclark, WEPA was first discussed over a glass of Chivas in St. Moritz after a day on the Cresta. The idea became reality on Edwards’ receipt of the now famous telegram from Manclark “Have long sticks – get elephants ready”.
International teams from USA, South Africa, India, Nepal, Jamaica, Germany, Singapore, The Philippines, Switzerland, Chile, Mongolia, and the UK have regularly taken part and this year’s championship sees the highest team entries to date with a total of 10 teams taking part.
The five-day tournament is famous for encompassing glamour, sporting prowess, fun and of course sociability.
THE 2000 CHAMPIONSHIPS
There will be a total of ten teams in this year’s tournament comprising of six returning teams:
Tiger Top Tuskers- Nepal,
National Parks-HMG Nepal,
Screwy Tuskers – USA,
Hannibal’s Own - British Gurkha Gladiators, UK.
And four novice teams:
Cresta Pohnanhis –Switzerland,
Eldorado – Latin America.
USA Horse Polo Professionals,
Swiss Air – International All Stars Team.
Chivas Regal 12-year-old is the undisputed leading premium Scotch whisky. With an unmatched blend and a glorious, rich taste, Chivas is enjoyed throughout the world by people who have self-confidence and a nose for what is really worthwhile in life. The perfect tipple indeed for World Elephant Polo.
THE CHIVAS TEAM
The 2000 WEPA Chivas team is truly tipped to be the WEPA champions with an enviable line up of skilled elephant polo players together with a couple of high potential novices:
Chivas' team captain and official tournament commentator, Peter Prentice is a WEPA Committee Member who has played elephant polo since 1987.
World Champion in 1993, Peter first introduced a Chivas team in 1998 and missed clinching victory by conceding a last minute goal in the nail-bitingly-close final of the 1999 championships. “Prent the Gent” matches great polo skills with a genuine sociability and his Chivas nights at the WEPA bar are legendary.
Colonel Raj Kalaan
Known as “The Silver Fox”, Colonel Raj is the backbone of experience for this year’s Chivas team. An ex Indian polo international who has been playing world elephant polo for over a decade, Colonel Raj is a legend in world polo circles for his playing skills on the pitch and his renowned reputation for being an exceptional raconteur and after dinner speaker.
A virgin to world elephant polo, Geoffrey enjoys a passion for the Indian Sub Continent. An established doyen of the East-West trade routes, he is currently developing a number of exclusive luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, including the stunning Taprobane Island, just off the South coast. Geoffrey will be playing at WEPA for the first year, with the specific intention of exploring opportunities of hosting a tournament in Sri Lanka – look out for future Test matches!
Born into a South African apple farming dynasty, James is legendary in South African social circles as well as being one of the few ever double-Springbok colours holders (through his Test Match representation in both cricket and elephant polo). The charismatic James has played at WEPA twice and captained the official South African team in 1991. His skills will bolster Chivas’ team experience, especially in his off-the-pitch morale and team building expertise
A London based stockbrocker, Simon is another WEPA novice aiming to build his sporting skills repartee. A famed and accomplished skiier on the slopes of Verbier and social cricketer of note, Simon is looking forward to his first year at the WEPA Challenge. His natural sporting prowess however is more than matched by his reputation for public speaking and incisive grasp on both military history and world current affairs. Not a man to argue with in the heat of battle!
THE CHIVAS GOLDEN MOMENT AWARD
Awarded each year for the most defining, entertaining and classic game play in the tournament, The Chivas Golden Moment Award is highly contested each year. Awarded to the entire Tigresses team in 1999 for their combined team play to create an almost perfect goal in the last minute of the quarterfinals, to propel the team ahead of their opponents the Tuskers, into the semi-finals.
Who will win this highly prestigious award in 2000?
CHIVAS REGAL – WEPA QUAICHE AMATEUR TROPHY
Named after the traditional Scottish vessel used to drink Chivas Regal, the Quaiche Amateur Trophy is awarded to the winner of the play-off matches between the four teams failing to reach the semi-finals of the official WEPA Championships. The Amateur teams must not include professional or experienced polo players – either elephant or traditional! It is similar in nature to the Hong Kong Sevens Plate.
CHIVAS SUPER BABES
– A truly impressive group of sophisticated jet-setters, the Chivas Super Babes add an enviable touch of international glamour and fashion to this year’s championships. Carefully selected to support the Chivas Team both on and off the pitch, there are those who would say that this year’s unique collection of seven Chivas Sugar Babes is the most compelling reason to return to WEPA.
Watch the Chivas Super Babes if you want to know what to wear at WEPA!
The teams are split into two leagues with each winning game = 2 points and each draw = 1 point.
Should there be a draw in any of the two leagues to decide first and second semi finalists there will be a penalty shoot out with no elephant defending the goal. Should it still be a draw after all four players from each team have made their hit then a ‘sudden-death’ penalty shoot out will be used to determine which team is first or second.
The top two teams from each league go through to the WEPA Championship Semi-Finals, the winners of which contest the renowned WEPA Trophy.
THE RULES – the following are highlights only of WEPA rules, a full set of which can be found at the WEPA website: www.elephantpolo.com.
- Each game will be played by four players on each team on a marked pitch of 120 metres by 70 metres using a standard size polo ball.
- The game will consist of two 10 minute chukkas of playing time, with an interval of 15 minutes.
- Elephants and ends are changed at half time.
- No team may have more than three elephants playing in one half of the pitch at any given time.
- There shall be no restrictions as to the height, weight or sex of elephants.
- No elephants may lie down in front of the goalmouth. To do so will constitute a foul.
- An elephant may not pick up the ball with its trunk during play. To do so will constitute a foul.
- If a player falls from an elephant, the play is stopped while the rider remounts. In case of injury, where the player cannot continue, a replacement may be called upon from among the reserves nominated, at the beginning of the Championship.
- Sugar cane or rice balls packed with vitamins (molasses and rock salt) shall be given to the elephants at the end of each match and a cold beer (or indeed a cool Chivas!), or a soft drink, to the elephant drivers and not visa versa.
- The following acts constitute a foul:
- Hooking the opponent’s stick
- Deliberately crossing in front of an elephant when the opponent is moving with the ball.
- Standing ‘on’ the ball, backing or going forward over a ball to stop a player reaching the ball.
- Intentionally hitting another player, elephant or Umpire with a stick.
- Dangerous play. “Round house” swings considered a danger to another player or elephant.
The 2000 WEPA Championships will no doubt live up to expectations. Good luck to all the competitors and keep an eye on the Chivas Regal team.
A full report of the championships will follow soon.