ASK Pierre-Henri Ngoumou: What is the best piece of advice you’d give to a young player who wants to make it as a pro but isn’t part of the polo world?

Hello Mark,

First advice: be a real horse passionate!!! It sounds obvious but many players are more interested in the sport than in the horse. Being a professional is being a horseman before anything else. I think a professional player is ¼ of his time playing and ¾ in his stables.

Second advice: Having the support of good people and always look for improving yourself. That’s a hard task especially in Europe. Argentines are the best ones and have pros that we don’t:
- An amazing quantity of horses
- A polo culture
- Many polo fields
It allows to play from really young good level tournaments on good horses in good organisations.
Third advice: being careful and thoughtful with your riding. Polo asks a particular riding but learning the horse’s movements and mechanism is the same for every discipline. Today we have in France good players but it is their riding technique that often fails them.
Fourth advice: Being sportive. In 10 years of career, I could watched that sport’s evolution and professionalization. It’s maybe linked to the fact that players are playing more than before. Players don’t play 6 months a year like they used to, but at least 10 months every year beteween the Argentine, European, and American seasons and the one in Dubai in winter. Today high level polo players (who are our heros) are athletes! There is a real workout on their physic to more perform better and avoid injuries…

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