ISABELLE BECOMES THE YOUNGEST POLO CAPTAIN IN SOUTH EAST ASIA
20 March 2021
By R. Gonzales
TUARAN: At the young age of 13, Isabelle Lonjuing Sayeed a native Sabahan, has once again made Malaysia especially Sabah proud by becoming South East Asia’s youngest polo captain, and Sabah’s youngest ever polo player.
Born in Penampang Sabah, Isabelle founded the first Sabah female polo team - El Viento - and has trained the team players who are much older than her who regarded her as 'Cikdu Kecil'.
Apart from horseriding, she is also teaching them to be conversant with the rules and regulations of polo game.
"After six months of becoming the world's youngest racehorse trainer, I achieved another milestone in my young career and made Sabah and Malaysia proud.
"I am a full-fledged polo horse schooler, sets rider and polo trainer. I am also proficient in sponsoring and organising polo tournaments, managing internal Chukkas and preparing Chukka lists for polo games," she said.
According to Isabelle, under the tutelage of her two equestrian teachers, Susan Douglas and Claire Mosuin, she began her horse-riding career at her tender age of five.
"Until today, I have achieved a lot in theory and practice, of training, management, upkeeping of racehorses and horses in general," she said.
Isabelle, other than her secondary education at Sayfol International School, spends the rest of her time with ten of her own horses.
The seven racehorses and three polo horses are being trained, schooled and raced seven days a week, she said.
Under the coaching of Tokoh Sukan David Wang and Field Assistant Adri Jari, Isabelle constantly improves her skills each day and is passing her expertise to upcoming polo players.
Peter Abisheganaden of the KL Polo Academy has also played a big role in grooming Isabelle in her polo and remains her distant equestrian adviser based in Kuala Lumpur.
Isabelle’s father, Adil Sayeed, a high goal polo player himself, has also been guding her in her foray into polo.
Isabelle, who is an avid self-learner about horses, has more knowledge of horses compared to many in the field and is already internationally known as a prodigy in horses.
She will be in the United States for advanced racehorse training in July and August this year and will be in Argentina for one year in 2023 until 2024 for advanced polo training.
Isabelle, a pride for Sabahan and Malaysian upon her return will be operating her own international standard Polo and Equestrian Club in Papar, Sabah.
Apart from her passion for horses, Isabelle is also an avid chef, conservationist and nature photographer. She is also an exponent in the martial art of Shorinji Kempo being trained by Tokoh Sukan, Grandmaster David Wang.
This young Sabahan lass lives a simple life working hard in training and caring for horses and teaching horse riding and polo, seven days a week.
She also gives out advice to those who seek her in the upkeeping of horses.
As it is said by those who know her, Isabelle was made for the horses and the horses were made for Isabelle.