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