Sports Stars Making a Social Impact: Polo Star Ashley Busch shares the life lessons that shaped her into the person she is today

Edward Sylvan
Jan 24, 2019 · 7 min read
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My Mom and Dad, they have been the biggest role models in my life. I am extremely grateful for all the important life lessons they have taught me and for them always being my biggest support system.

There are so many things we learn as children that are embedded in our subconscious that we aren’t even aware of at the time, my parents taught me at a young age that a positive mindset is everything and that challenges can be faced with a positive attitude and there are always alternative solutions if you have an open mind.

They taught me the meaning of perspective and how to give back to those in need, to never give up, and that life isn’t fair. Which I feel is the most fundamental lesson you can learn, you can’t expect to have something because everyone else does, it doesn’t mean you are inadequate but you have to look at what you have accomplished or what you do have.

All of those lessons are values I live by daily and they have shaped me into the person that I am today.

had the pleasure of interviewing Ashley Busch. Ashley is a competitive polo player and entrepreneur. While currently designing her own swimwear line she often makes time to give back to different charities. Ashley is married to NASCAR champion Kurt Busch.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

am a dedicated equestrian who began riding at age five. Six years later I found my love for polo and began my career. Over the years, I have played in renowned tournaments across the world from New York to Argentina, Chile, England, Florida and more. My teams have won tournaments like the Port Mayaca 14-goal with Carlos Gracida Sr. (the longest reigning, highest rated polo player in the world at the time) and the International Polo Club 12-goal (which I played with my father Beau). During the Hobe Sound 8-goal tournaments, my Altair Polo team and I made it through the season undefeated. I also competed as a member of the 2011 US Eastern Circuit Polo team and recently participated in the 2018 Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup alongside the Duke of Sussex in England this summer.

I am also adding another project to my plate, turning one of my passions, swimwear, into a business by creating my own line. Later this year, I’ll launch my “beachy chic” collection, starting with swimwear and expanding to other apparel. 10% of the proceeds will be donated to the Planet Water Foundation.

Some of my philanthropic ventures include hosting polo exhibitions like the Van Metre Polo Club benefitting Capital Hospice and other foundations including the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, Polo for a Purpose benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Van Metre 5-mile run benefiting the Children’s National Medical Center. Currently, I split my time between Wellington, FL and Mooresville, NC with my husband, NASCAR champion Kurt Busch.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your polo career?

Funniest moment was when I was switching horses in the 2nd chukker of a polo game and I had a small hole in back leg of my pants. When I went to put my leg in the stirrup it decided to completely tear. There was no way I could play with a 6-inch flap of fabric hanging off and no coverage!

I had to find some vet wrap, which is like an adhesive wrap, and wrap that around my leg to hold the pants together. It was so embarrassing and didn’t help that the majority of players on the field were men.

Most interesting would have to be playing in the Sentebale ISPA Handa Polo this past July with the Duke of Sussex and meeting the Duchess.

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What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

My biggest, most exciting project is creating my swimwear brand Monarch Reign. It has always been a dream of mine to have a fashion line and see my designs come to fruition. Another fun project is working with the US Polo assn. As their Official Brand Ambassador, together we are always trying to find ways to grow the brand and make the sport of polo more mainstream. It is important to me to make an impact with women and encourage them to follow their dreams no matter whether they are the only girl on the playing field, like I am most the time in polo, whether they’ve been told no, or feel as though they can’t accomplish what they need to.

What would you advise to a young person who aspires to follow your footsteps and emulate your career? W

If they wanted to emulate my polo career — find your nearest horse farm and invest in riding lessons. Learn how to ride and perfect that first, it will make learning to play polo so much easier and you will advance more quickly. If you have a riding background, there are a variety of polo clubs around the US that provide beginner lessons and many colleges now have polo teams, so do a bit of research in your area and see what comes up. Practice makes perfect, if there is someone who hit the balls 10 times you have to do it 12 times, be consistent, and you win some and you lose some but everything is a learning opportunity.

Go after what you are passionate about and do what makes you happy. Don’t let anybody tell you no, if your first attempt doesn’t work, there are always multiple solutions to every obstacle. If you believe in yourself and you put the work into it then you will be successful.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

On a larger scale I have several charities that are close to my heart, I am always participating in an event of contributing to each every year. My brand Monarch Reign will be donating 10% of every swimsuit sold to Planet Water, it is very important to me to give back in any way that I can, I do believe it is the little things that make the biggest difference and that there is always time to be kind and make an impact.

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Is there a particular person that made a profound difference in your life to whom you are grateful? Can you share a story?

My Mom and Dad, they have been the biggest role models in my life. I am extremely grateful for all the important life lessons they have taught me and for them always being my biggest support system.

There are so many things we learn as children that are embedded in our subconscious that we aren’t even aware of at the time, my parents taught me at a young age that a positive mindset is everything and that challenges can be faced with a positive attitude and there are always alternative solutions if you have an open mind.

They taught me the meaning of perspective and how to give back to those in need, to never give up, and that life isn’t fair. Which I feel is the most fundamental lesson you can learn, you can’t expect to have something because everyone else does, it doesn’t mean you are inadequate but you have to look at what you have accomplished or what you do have.

All of those lessons are values I live by daily and they have shaped me into the person that I am today.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Never give up.”

“If you believe you can or believe you can’t, you are right.”

“In order to carry a positive action, we must first develop a positive vision.”

I feel like those quotes speak for themselves and they are relatable to everyone and everything in life.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why.

  • Some days nothing will feel right and you will question why you even started in the first place.
  • Being an entrepreneur and business owner is a 24/7 job.
  • Don’t take no for an answer.
  • If you believe in something enough you can always find a way to make it work, sometimes it takes changing your entire perspective and approaching it from a different angle.
  • If you are the smartest person in the room then you are in the wrong room. Spend time getting to know you team or co workers strengths and weaknesses and surrounding yourself with people who’s strengths make up for your weaknesses.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. Bill Gates, not only is he an extremely successful businessman, but I love the way he raises his children and the values he has taught them.

Oprah Winfrey, unfortunately the others I would like to meet have already passed away such as; Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Coco Chanel.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Edward Sylvan

Written by

CEO & Founder of Sycamore Entertainment Group, helping independent films find their audience & assisting private equity funds to access alternative investments

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Edward Sylvan

Written by

CEO & Founder of Sycamore Entertainment Group, helping independent films find their audience & assisting private equity funds to access alternative investments

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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