The all-girl Tigresses quartet emerged at the 2011 edition of the World Elephant Polo Championships as the first lady team to feature as serious contenders for the world title in a decade. 2012 saw them return, supported by EFG International and Equestrio. And what a return it was.
In 2011 the Tigresses were beaten only by the ultimate winners, EFG Switzerland, to whom they succumbed in the semi-final. In 2012 history was to repeat itself as the ladies once again lost only to the new champions.
The Ghengis Khan Polo Club foursome fielded Mongolia’s best. Four Mongols who, thanks to the patronage and vision of Christopher Giercke - the man behind the rebirth of polo in Mongolia and founder of the Ghengis Khan Polo Club on the banks of the Orkhon River on the Mongolian Steppe - have been honed by the best in the horse polo business since 1998. In 2012 the team triumphed in the WEPA Olympic Quaiche at their first foray into elephant polo. 2012 saw them return to WEPA with experience and form.
A nail-biting battle between Tigresses Polo and the Ghengis Khan Polo Club ended with the Mongols
triumphant in the Nepali jungle
They were to prove invincible, trouncing all in their path on the way to the finals and dispatching defending champions EFG 14-8 in their semi-final.
The ultimate battle in Bardia saw them up one goal against the ladies at half-time. In the second chukka form and fortune went the Mongol way as, like most of the world in the Middle Ages, the Tigresses succumbed to Mongol might.
Ultimately the Mongols rode out victorious 8-5, leaving the Tigresses beaten but still roaring as the most successful ladies elephant polo team in the history of the sport as well as the most resilient against the ultimate champions for the second year running.
In the 2012 WEPA Olympic Quaiche the Afghaniphants lined up against WEPA rookies Mel’s Angels. At half-time the scoreboard read 3-1 in the Kabul expats' favour with captain Rebekah Bell and Mike Chatterton emerging as stars.
Ultimately the Afghaniphants rode out Quaiche winners at 5-3, Olympic gold medallists at their second attempt.