POLO+10: How were your beginnings in polo?
Malcolm Borwick: As many Englishmen, I started in the Pony Club in England. I had practiced many sports already, and polo was a combination of all of them, with something that I have always loved, horses.
POLO+10: Which is the special attraction that differentiates polo from other sports?
Borwick: As I said, it is the combination of all sports. You have mates, a team, horses and it is one of the most difficult sports to practice. You always have something to improve, maybe it is a horse, or the team structure, but there is always something you can keep improving.
POLO+10: How was your 2014 season?
Borwick: 2014 was a successful and fun season. The medium handicap is coming back strongly to England after a pause. Then we went to Sotogrande with Royal Salute as a team, and that was an interesting challenge: we are assembling a team that represents a brand, every player is an ambassador. Sotogrande was very competitive, all the big players were there, but it was a great experience.
POLO+10: Which was your favourite 2014 tournament?
Borwick: It was without a doubt the one we played in Korea with Royal Salute, a completely new experience. A polo club far away formed by its members with hardly any professionals. Jamie Lee, who put together the club formed it with his business partners and they work to reach a really good polo level. Besides, we were warmly welcomed!
POLO+10: How did your relationship with Royal Salute start? What do you think the brand saw in you that made them choose you?
Borwick: It was something that evolved with time. In 2007 I played at the opening of the
Nine Dragons Hill Polo Club in Shanghai representing the brand. After a month, they called me to assess them about tournaments and clubs, and after William and Kate’s wedding, they called me to go to USA as a spokesperson for the brand and they liked my work, so then they proposed me to be an ambassador.
POLO+10: And what do you see in Royal Salute to keep choosing to represent the brand?
Borwick: It is the brand that is the most active in the polo world, and the actions it makes are very direct. Many times I see that the brands try to get into the polo world to benefit themselves, Royal Salute works to promote polo sponsoring teams, organizing tournaments in remote locations and many more actions. In second place, when you link a brand with polo, sometimes it is hard to find a suitable association. Royal Salute is a brand that one associates to culture, heritage, luxury and history, and polo is associated to the same concepts. The heart of Royal Salute reflects polo.
POLO+10: Which are your goals for Argentina? And for your 2015 season?
Borwick: This was a year of re-organization here in Argentina. I didn’t have much time in the country, and could not focus enough to play the Cámara de Diputados tournament. In 2015 the goal is to play that tournament, and if everything goes all right, in two years I want to play the qualification for the Argentine Open. Regarding Argentina we have to prepare a competitive team able to have a good performance in high handicap. Your goals always need to be high. In addition, another goal is to keep on working with Royal Salute. I believe that when you are working with a brand for 3 or 4 years, you can measure the effect and the success, and that is what has been going on now. Polo people already know the brand and now we have to globalize it even more.
POLO+10: So your maximum goal is to qualify for the Argentine Open?
Borwick: It would be a dream, but I am far from that still. Being a foreigner, without a polo family, it is harder to organize everything up to the level of the organizations here. When I export horses to play in England, I have to start all over again. There was a time that together with the Tomlinsons and James Beim we almost decided to face the Qualifiers, but it was not possible. Here you need to compete against solid organizations and great players. The goal is always there, but there is still a long way to come.
POLO+10: Which are the main differences between polo in Argentina and England?
Borwick: They are two different polo levels. European polo is patron’s polo. The teams organized by good patrons are demanding to the maximum. Here you have a bit of everything: there is patron’s polo but also open polo, that is great to improve your performance. You need to play in both levels to be a complete polo player.