Ashley Van Metre Busch, a polo star, entrepreneur and model, has achieved global success at the young age of 27. Her career has come a long way from the first time she rode a horse at age 5 and immediately fell in love with everything about horses. Playing polo is a great way to combine her love for horses with her competitive nature, which she gets from her father and grandfather, who were sailboat racers.
As a bonus to loving polo, Busch also happens to be really good at the sport. She has reached great heights throughout her career with multiple defining moments, and she has solidified herself as one of the sport’s fiercest competitors.
Busch has played in renowned tournaments across the globe, from New York to Argentina, Chile, England, Florida and more. Notable victories include tournaments like the Port Mayaca 14-goal and the International Polo Club 12-goal, which she played with her father Beau. During the Hobe Sound 8-goal tournaments, Busch and her Altair team made it through the season undefeated. Currently, her team competes in tournaments in Wellington throughout the winter season.
As a member of the 2011 U.S. Eastern Circuit polo team, Busch competed against the British Forces/Combined Services polo teams in the historic Chapple Cup Series. The three-match series began at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, in which the teams battled for the Sudan Cup, the second match at the Tidworth Polo Club competing for the Indian Cavalry Officers Cup, and the final match at Guards Polo Club for the United Services Cup.
In addition to her on-field success, last year Busch was named the U.S. Polo Assn. female global brand ambassador. This allowed her to branch out into the modeling world, in which she has found great success.
Busch makes sure to not let her platform and reach go untouched, as she is an avid sponsor of women’s empowerment and equality, particularly in athletics. “My goal is to be a female face for polo as a sport and show women that they can do anything they put their minds to,” she said.
Busch preaches self-confidence and recognizes that polo is one of the few sports that allows both men and women to play on the same field together simultaneously. Because of this, she takes that opportunity to prove to the world that women can be just as successful as men in any sport, and she is always looking to break through the stereotypes.
Her time away from polo allows her to explore other passions in her life, such as fashion and philanthropy. She is coming out with her own swimwear line this year. The Beachy Chic collection is set to launch this spring, and she is expected to branch into other fashion fields in the near future. While the details are still being finalized, Busch has decided that 10 percent of the profits will be going to various charities around the world.
Her other charitable endeavors include hosting polo exhibitions like the Van Metre Polo Cup benefiting Capital Hospice and supporting the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the Commonwealth Polo Cup, the National Sporting Library Polo Classic, Polo for a Purpose and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She is also proud to be a part of the Van Metre 5-mile run, which benefits the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Busch’s ultimate goal is to create her own foundation and host charity events throughout the U.S. for various causes to pay it forward.
“From a young age, I was always taught the importance of giving back,” Busch said. “And it is my goal to pay it forward in whichever endeavors I am involved in, whether hosting charity polo events or through my swimwear and apparel line.”
In early 2017, she married NASCAR champion Kurt Busch. As a power couple of athletes, they both realize the danger that comes along with their chosen sports. “To be honest, you could get hurt just walking down the stairs,” Busch said. “You cannot let fear stop you from pursuing your passions. You have to live each day to the fullest.”
When asked about the inherent danger that comes with her husband’s profession, Busch noted that the NASCAR safety technology provided to drivers is incredible, and in all likelihood, that probably makes the sport safer than polo.
Busch has actually spent time in a stock car when she drove three laps in Las Vegas for fun. “You get out, and you feel like you can’t even walk. You feel like you’re floating,” she said. “I can’t imagine how these guys do it for 300, 400 laps.”
When they are not at the racetrack or the polo field, the newlyweds split their time at residences in Wellington and Mooresville, N.C.
Free time, which is at something of a minimum, is very important to Busch. During that time, she likes to stay fit, work out and just relax at home with her dogs and husband. Nights out are rare, since Ashley and Kurt usually just cook dinner at home and enjoy each other’s company there.
Busch advises those who travel and want to stay in shape to take time out of each day to do at least one thing, just as she does. From walking her dogs, doing sit-ups in the park or even going for a bike ride, she makes time to just keep active.
Learn more about Ashley Busch at www.ashleybusch.com.