THAILAND MYANMAR FRIENDSHIP
EXHIBITION POLO MATCH

ROYAL 

www.burmapolo.com

This 16 Dec 2017, We are trying to organize an exhibition polo match in Myanmar. Polo used to be played at the historic Kyaikkasan Horse Grounds in Yangon back in 1933, and it is here that we are hoping to hold an exhibition match of "Old Siam vs Old Rangoon" -- the first polo match in Myanmar for over 80 years. This event will be the lead event to commemorate 70 years of relations between Thailand and Myanmar.

EMAIL FOR INFORMATION

PROUD HISTORY
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).
 


HRH The Prince of Wales playing polo in Mandalay in 1922.
Photograph courtesy of Yangon Heritage Trust

 
HISTORIC GROUNDS
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) -- Location of Kyaikkasan Stadium
 


Polo at Kyaikkasan Stadium in 1933.
Photograph courtesy of Yangon Heritage Trust

 
PROGRESS SO FAR
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.
H.E. The Thai Ambassador 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.
 
THE CHIEF MINISTER
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.
 
TOURNAMENT 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.
 
UPDATE
H.E. Thai Ambassador Jakr Boon-Long has written to the Minister of Health and Sport expressing his support for the Thailand Myanmar Friendship Match
as the lead event for the 70th Anniversary of Relations between Thailand and Myanmar. Pending approval from the Minister, there will be a Press Conference at the Thai Embassy in the week following 05 Dec.
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.
 
THE TEAMS
Our two exhibition match teams will be "Old Siam" vs "Old Rangoon" as polo has not been played in Myanmar for over 80 years, the theme of our match is one of nostalgia looking back to an earlier time. This polo match will be the inaugural event of the Celebration of 70 years of relations between Thailand and Myanmar. His Excellency, The Thailand Ambassador Jakr Boon-Long will welcome the honored guests for this event.

  

 
THE PROGRAM -- 16 December 2017
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 thrown in.
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 M.E.F.
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.
 
THE ROUTE
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 from King Power Polo Club to Mae Sot -- LEG 2 from Myawaddy to Yangon.
 

 
TASKS AT HAND
  • TPA, MEF, Thai Embassy Proposal to H.E. Minister of Sport (completed on 20 Nov)
  • MEF, Thai Ambassador meet with H.E. Dr. Myint Htwe (waiting MEF)
  • 200 Booklets (English & Burmese) Index-Creative
  • Statements from Thai Ambassador, TPA Pres, MEF Pres, MOS, Chief Minister, KP Chm.
  • 200 Posters (Index-Creative)
  • Press Conference (Thai Embassy - week following 05 Dec)(Skynet)
  • Invite Aung San Su Kyi to throw in the first ball
  • Passports & Microchips for horses (already prepared by Vet Team)
  • Select 22 horses & players (Lucas in process)
  • Details of Trucks, Type/Quantity of food, medicine, tack, etc Document for Customs
  • 3-5 MEF team to visit VSSC to be Receiver at Mae Sot Border prior to trip
  • 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 Hospital)
  • 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 2017 Tom)
  • 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
www.siampolonews.com

 

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