EXHIBITION POLO MATCH
15 DECEMBER 2018
-- POLO RETURNS TO MYANMAR
On 14 January 2018, His Excellency Dr. Myint Htwe, The Minister of
Health and Sport, gave his approval to use the
Kyaikkasan Stadium in the center of Yangon for a
Friendship Exhibition Polo Match
Siam" and "Old Rangoon." The one day polo match will take
place tentatively on Saturday, 15 December 2018. This event will celebrate the 70 years of relations
between Thailand and Myanmar, as the Thailand Polo Association and
the Myanmar Equestrian Federation work together to bring polo back
to Myanmar for the first time in 80 years. Polo used to be played at Kyaikkasan
Horse Grounds back in 1933. Pictured right are polo enthusiasts HRH
Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei and Khun Vichai Srivadhanaprabha
(owner of King Power and Leicester City Football Club, and founder
of the Thailand National Polo Team and the Thailand Polo
Association) holding the polo jerseys for the "Old Rangoon" and the
"Old Siam" teams.
EMAIL FOR INFORMATION
A form of Polo was played in Myanmar
during ancient times. The King titled "Nat Shin Naung" was well known
for his bravery and his wise poetry. He was one of the kings of the Taungoo Dynasty and he reigned
this region in Myanmar from 971-974
(Myanmar calendar is now 1375).
According to historical records in Myanmar, it is not certain
whether the king played polo himself or not, but he was very fond of
horse riding and enjoyed watching polo games. In Myanmar, this
ancient polo game was called "Gulie Hitting." (This historical
information kindly provided by U Htay Kyaw, Secretary General,
Myanmar Equestrian Federation).
Polo at Kyaikkasan Stadium in 1933.
Photograph courtesy of Yangon
HRH The Prince of Wales
playing polo in Mandalay in 1922.
Photograph courtesy of Yangon
Kyaikkasan Stadium as it stands today.
We will request from the Ministry of Sport to use the two football
pitches and make one field of approximately 250 yards in length. The
Thailand Polo Association and King Power have offered to bring 20
horses from Thailand to Myanmar by road via Mae Sot and Myawaddy to
Yangon. They will provide free transport and bring two teams for the
exhibition polo match. Myanmar Equestrian Federation is assisting
with information on the quarantine procedure, stabling of the
horses, and inviting members from the 15 equestrian clubs in Myanmar
to the event. It is hoped that this exhibition will honor the proud
polo tradition in Myanmar, which was at one time one of the leading
polo playing nations in Asia, and facilitate a friendship between
equestrian enthusiasts in Myanmar and polo players in Thailand, so
that the sport of polo can return to Myanmar. There are currently 6
countries in ASEAN with active national polo teams (Thailand,
Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines), and the vision
of The Thailand Polo Association is that by increasing the level of
polo played in Asia, we can perhaps, one day, see the return of polo
as an Olympic sport as it was last played in the 1936 Berlin
Olympics. (Aerial photo courtesy of Yangon Heritage Trust) --
The first meeting between the Thailand Polo Association and the
Myanmar Equestrian Federation was held at
the Chatrium Hotel on the morning of 29 Sep 2017. This
meeting was followed up with a meeting at the Royal Thai Embassy
with H.E. Ambassador Jakr Boon-Long. The Thai Embassy is fully
supportive of the Thailand Myanmar Friendship Exhibition Polo Match
as the inaugural event for the celebration of 70 years of relations
between Thailand and Myanmar in 2018.
HE Ambassador Jakr from Thailand will join us with our upcoming meeting with
His Excellency Dr. U Myint Htwe, The Minister of Health and Sport,
up in Naypyidaw for the approval to use the beautiful Kyaikkasan
Stadium for this historic Friendship Polo Match.
On 27 Oct 2017,
The members of the Myanmar Equestrian Federation and the Deputy
Chief of Mission in the Thai Embassy, Minister Narong, were granted
an audience with His Excellency U Phyo Min Thein, The Chief Minister
of Yangon, to present the proposal of Polo at Kyaikkasan. The Chief
Minister had no objection to the event and its inaugural
commemoration of the 70 years of relations between Thailand and
Myanmar. He made an important point that with Democracy comes the
importance of following the Rule of Law. We are hoping that he will
be able to join us for the event in December 2018.
On 14 Jan 2018, His Excellency Dr. Myint Htwe, The Minister of
Health and Sports, give permission for the Thailand Myanmar
Friendship Exhibition Polo Match to be held at the historic
Kyaikkasan Stadium in December 2018. He said "Why Not." He gave the
approval for the exhibition match on the two fields with spectators
on the other two fields. He also said that we could keep the horses
on the Kyaikkasan grounds for 6 days prior to the match. We promised
that we will not disturb the football until the day before the
match, and the fields will be ready for football one day after the
match with the care of the polo field experts from TPA in Thailand.
His Excellency also kindly offered to deliver a letter to Daw Aung
San Su Kyi, a professional equestrian herself, inviting her to throw
in the first ball for this historic match. This match will be a win
for everybody to welcome polo back to Myanmar and to honor the 70
years or relations between Thailand and Myanmar. Thank you Your
Excellency for your vision and assistance.
COMMENTATOR "MISS MYANMAR 2013" GON YI AYE KYAW
We are very pleased to announce that Gon Yi has enthusiastically
agreed to commentate the FRIENDSHIP POLO EXHIBITION MATCH in
December. She is a very keen rider at the Yangon Equestrian Club,
and she is fluent in English and Burmese. She has been brushing up
on her polo terminology, and she wants to come to Thailand and learn
to play polo. She will hopefully be joined in her commentation by
veteran and very humorous Myanmar Football Commentator Maung Maung
Aye. Pictured here with Shwe Thamee (Golden Daughter) -- a
mare sired by Aung San Su Kyi's Stallion Myanma Ahla (Myanmar
Beauty) which was a gift from MEF to The Honorable Lady.
H.E. Ambassador Jakr Boon-Long of Thailand has written to the Minister of
Health and Sport expressing his support for the Thailand Myanmar
Friendship Match to commemorate the 70 years of relations between
Thailand and Myanmar. We will hold the Press Conference at the Thai Embassy in
late November 2018.
The TPA Team has completed an inspection of the Kyaikkasan Field,
The Stable Facilities at Mya Yiek Nyo Hotel, The Chatrium Hotel.
They are working very closely with Khun Arpa and May Su at
Index-Creative in Yangon. Now, The Minister of Health and Sport has
granted us permission to keep the horses in a small field at
Kyaikkasan for 6 days prior to the exhibition match.
Our two exhibition match teams will be "Old Siam" vs "Old Rangoon"
as polo has not been played in Myanmar for over 80 years, and the
theme of our match is one of nostalgia looking back to "The Golden
Age of Polo."
This polo match will celebrate the 70
years of relations between Thailand and Myanmar. His Excellency, Ambassador Jakr Boon-Long
from Thailand will welcome the honored guests
for this event.
PROGRAM -- December
14:00 -- Gates open for spectators to arrive.
VIP guests on the West side of the field. Free for all to watch on
the East side of the field.
14:30 -- Remarks from two or our esteemed guests.
15:00 -- The teams will be introduced, and the ball will be
15:30 -- At halftime, we will invite our spectators to stomp
in the divots.
16:30 -- The Game is completed, and the winning Trophy (to be
named) will be presented.
16:45 -- A Myanmar Equestrian demonstration organized by
17:00 -- Football goals returned to the field, so football
play can be resumed the next day.
19:00 -- Proposed Gala Dinner at Chatrium Hotel to thank our
gracious hosts M.E.F. and Ministers.
There are currently no polo horses in Myanmar, so we will drive them
in. This journey will take about 30 hours over 2 days. We will use 2
trucks to carry the 20 horses. We also have to carry a weeks food
for the horses, 10 grooms and vets, saddles & bridles, and electric
fencing to keep the horses. We will arrive 6 days before play, so
the horses can settle down, and they will make the journey back the
day after the match. We are extremely grateful to U Zay Thi Ha, the owner of
MYA YEIK NYO Hotel in downtown Yangon, who has kindly offered
for the horses to be kept on the 14 acre hotel grounds that is only
2 km from Kyaikkasan Stadium. This beautiful teak and gilded hotel
is over 100 years old with a commanding view of Shwedagon Pagoda.
LEG 1 King Power Polo Club
to Mae Sot -- LEG 2 Myawaddy to Yangon.
TASKS AT HAND
- TPA, MEF, Thai Embassy Proposal
to H.E. Dr. Myint Htwe, Minister of Sport (APPROVED on 14 Jan
- 200 Booklets (English & Burmese)
- Statements from Thai
Ambassador, TPA Pres, MEF Pres, MOS, Chief Minister, KP Chm.
- 200 Posters (Index-Creative)
- Press Conference (Thai Embassy)(Skynet)
- Invite Aung San Su Kyi to throw
in the first ball
- Passports & Microchips for
horses (already prepared by Vet Team)
- Blood test from horses (2 weeks
- Select 22 horses & players
- Details of Trucks,
Type/Quantity of food, medicine, tack, etc Document for Customs
- 3 MEF team to visit VSSC to
be Receiver at Mae Sot Border prior to trip (COMPLETED Dec 2017)
- Move horses on 07 Dec / Cross
into Myanmar on 08 Dec (Fazeela, Toey, Tsu)
- Polo Goals, Scoreboard, Sponsor
banners, White lines, Chukka Bell
- Chairs, VIP tent, Generator, PA
system, Toilet (Index-Creative)
- Ambulance standby (Victoria
- Refreshments and staff (Chatrium
Hotel & Index)
- Trophy (Fazeela)
- Book Chatrium Hotel (TPA)
- Small Gala Dinner at Chatrium
to thank MEF and Ministers
- Ready Trucks for trip (TPA)
- Game Shirts (ready on 01 Dec
- Gift footballs, nets,
scoreboards to Sports Institute (thanks to students)
- Workers to replace divots /
Workers to fill ditch and clear ditch (Index-Creative)
We wish to thank our friends for
supporting this event:
Webpage by Tom Claytor