ROYAL JOUR­NEY

The Peak (Malaysia) - - Huawei Special - TEXT MAYA MICHAEL PHO­TOG­RA­PHY JA­SON LEE

ThePeak finds out from Mal­colm Bor­wick, Royal Salute’s World Polo Am­bas­sador, what life on horse­back is truly like. Mal­colm Bor­wick has cer­tainly come a long way from when he used to play polo for fun. Th­ese days, when he’s not busy rid­ing high within the ranks of the world’s top polo play­ers, the 38-year-old serves dou­ble-duty as the charis­matic World Polo Am­bas­sador for lux­ury Scotch whisky brand, Royal Salute. “For me, true lux­ury is plea­sure de­rived from a prod­uct that con­stantly takes you out of your com­fort zone and al­lows you to live out your dreams while ex­plor­ing new hori­zons,” he says.

The pro­fes­sional polo player’s yearly sched­ule is di­vided be­tween his homes in his birth­place, Eng­land, and Ar­gentina, where some of the world’s most pres­ti­gious polo tour­na­ments are held. Re­cently, how­ever, Bor­wick made a stop in Malaysia to con­duct a unique ‘polo clinic’ for se­lected mem­bers of the me­dia. Or­gan­ised by Royal Salute and held at the Royal Se­lan­gor Polo Club, the event pro­vided ea­ger neo­phytes with the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the ex­u­ber­ance of the game in hopes of help­ing shed its elit­ist im­age.

“This is ac­tu­ally my se­cond time in Malaysia; my first visit was back in the sum­mer of 2000. I had just signed up to play for the Royal Pa­hang Polo Club in Eng­land and was sent here for three weeks to get to know the lo­cal team. It was a mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence, for sure, as they are truly pas­sion­ate about the game, which you ei­ther have from day one or you don’t. That’s the beauty of polo; it hooks you from the get-go.”

Hav­ing spent a to­tal of 27 years play­ing the sport, Bor­wick re­veals how he first dis­cov­ered his own pas­sion for the game: “I’ve been rid­ing horses be­fore I could even walk, so I re­ally can’t en­vi­sion a life with­out th­ese mag­nif­i­cent beasts. While I have fallen a few times dur­ing my youth, rid­ing be­comes as nat­u­ral as walk­ing down a street once you reach a cer­tain level. Now, all I have to do is look at where I want to go and my body will in­stantly know how to de­liver that in­struc­tion to the horse.”

Bor­wick ad­mits that had he known he would be play­ing polo on a pro­fes­sional level, he would have prob­a­bly in­vested more time on hon­ing his skills. “Back when I was grow­ing up in Eng­land, we would only play polo dur­ing the an­nual sum­mer break, which lasts about six weeks. I later found out that my Ar­gen­tine coun­ter­parts were spend­ing at least nine to 11 months train­ing per year. Since you need to spend at least 10,000 hours in or­der to mas­ter a craft, I would’ve had to start

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