A passion for polo is so often an instantaneous love and for 17 year old 2-goaler, Henry Porter, it was no different. The day he watched his first game of polo at the 2008 Cartier snow polo in St.Moritz, his affinity with the sport began and it has since taken him to playing in Dubai, Argentina, the U.K, the U.S.A, and this weekend it takes him to France to play for England in the FIP World Cup playoffs.
For Henry, horses were always something that he loved, having started riding at age 5. However, it was not until he had his first lesson with Facha (Martin Valent) at Desert Palm, Dubai, after his family moved to the UAE, that his true desire and need to get on a horse and ride with a mallet, began. The competitive element of the sport and his love for horses made it the perfect combination.
Playing for one's country is already a huge achievement but Henry has his sights set on many more goals for his polo career, namely in achieving the highest Handicap he is able to, whilst also playing in the major Open tournaments around the world including Palermo, the US Open, the Queen's Cup and the Gold Cup. Such ambition has been inspired through his admiration and desire to follow in the footsteps of all the top players of the game. Most notably, Adolfo Cambiaso who has left his mark on Henry through the support he has given Henry since the start of his career and due to his incomparable horsemanship and ability on the field.
An ethos that we strive to celebrate at Polo Channel is that of teamwork, an ethos that Henry harnessed during his recent season in the U.S whilst playing with three good friends. Despite his team being the youngest on the field during all of the tournaments they played in, they won 8 of their 10 tournaments. Henry believes that this came down to the chemistry that they had established between themselves, with their coach, Matias Magrini being a key factor in their team development. The boys practically lived together by starting their day together, arriving to the stables together, riding together, eating together and practicing together. The team ensured that they followed this process repeatedly every day of the season, creating a very strong team bond, one of the most valuable factors on the field. This experience enabled Henry to realise that being someone with whom other's can communicate well with and understand the way they play, is one of the essential ways in which you become a great player and a vital part of a team.
Following on from the US season, this year Henry's focus will firstly be on improving his ability as a player and on playing for England, with the hope of bringing home the FIP World Cup. Next week Henry will be playing alongside Satnam Dillion, Mark Baldwin and Will Lucas, in the qualification matches for the World Cup held in Sydney in October. The schedule for the playoff games is as follows: 1st May against Germany, 4th May against Spain and the 7th May against France. England need to win 2 of their 3 matches to qualify for the World Cup.
We wish Henry and his teammates the best of luck next week, and with the rest of the year ahead. He is certainly an exciting prospect as a young and passionate English player.
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