x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Behind the scenes with international polo star Malcolm Borwick

The professional international polo player Malcolm Borthwick talks horses and horse power.

Malcolm Borwick. Courtesy Royal Salute UAE Nations Cup
Malcolm Borwick. Courtesy Royal Salute UAE Nations Cup

Malcolm Borwick, who is competing in the Royal Salute polo tournament at Dubai’s Desert Palm Resort this week, talks about life, work and play

The life he leads

“We follow the international circuit and aren’t based permanently anywhere. Through October, November and December we’re in Argentina; January to April in Miami; May to July in England and August in Spain.”

Glamour and hard graft

“Obviously the association with luxury and glamour is a big part of the sell of the sport, but the day-to-day is much more physical and work oriented. Like any professional sport, there’s no room for being overweight or slow.”

Average day

“We’ll work with the horses at least two to three hours every morning and afternoon. We also have daily gym workouts with personal trainers. Then we’ll have matches three times a week during peak seasons, which you’ll be prepping for with your teammates.”

Serious horseplay

“I started playing when I was 11 but only decided to take it up professionally after Durham University. I was travelling and playing polo before being made a member of the England team. I think Dubai will be my 30th country associated with polo –and I’m very much looking forward to it.”

New turf

“Dubai has been on my wish-list for a very long time. I know all the professionals playing there well and it’s a circuit that’s gaining momentum every year.”

Eye on the prize

“We play to win! Irrespective of the traditions and gentlemanly nature of the game, today it’s a very passionate, modern sport where winning is all-important.”

Teaching novices

“In about three hours, I’ll try to get you from zero to hero. From literally nothing, to riding a horse and hitting a ball.”

For more information, visit desertpalm.peraquum.com

rduane@thenational.ae