It's been quite a winter! Thankfully, March reminds us that our dreams of sunny days and rising temperatures is closer to being a reality. This month's covergirl is one of our new faves, Ashley Busch - US Polo player, Global Brand Ambassador of U.S. Polo Assn, Wilhelmina model and wife of NASCAR's Kurt Busch! Our shoot incorporates Spring's must haves and we get the scoop on playing polo, hanging out with Ashley and seeing what she's up to.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What does it take to be a polo player?
ASHLEY BUSCH: It takes a few things to be a good polo player. Of course, previous riding experience is always an advantage. To me, the most important skill is to have good hand-eye coordination. Also, the skill of the pony is just as important as the skill of the player.
AM: Are there things that people don't realize in terms of coordinating the mallet and riding?
AB: Most people do not realize that when we are riding we are standing up in the stirrups 90% of the time. In order to hit the ball it takes hand eye coordination. How far it goes has a lot to do with timing of where your horse is and where your mallet is in relation to the ball.
AM: What are your favorite plays?
AB: There are not really any set plays or off sides in polo. Any player can go anywhere on the field. Typically, I play number 1 or number 2 and those positions are the ones that do most of the scoring which are my favorite plays of course!
AM: What has been your favorite match that you have played in?
AB: My favorite match was the 12 Goal tournament I won with my dad at the International Polo Club.
AM: How has the Polo season been and what races are you looking forward to this year?
AB: Polo season has been great so far. I played my first tournament in January and we got to the finals where we only lost by one goal. The second tournament I played in February, we won
by 2 goals. So, I would say this season has been a success!
I look forward to all of the races whether I'm there or watching on TV. I get really into each race because each track is different and it’s fun to see how everything transpires. One of my favorite
trips is the west coast swing that we are on right now. From Vegas to Phoenix to LA. Some other tracks that I love are Bristol in Tennessee, Talladega, and Sonoma.
AM: As this month's cover girl of Athleisure Mag for the kickoff to our Spring Issue, what is it about this time of year that you find exciting?
AB: I am someone that has always gravitated towards warm weather. I love that the flowers are starting to bloom and everything is warming up. I look at springtime as an opportunity to do some spring cleaning and really hone in on my goals for the year. It’s a reboot in my opinion!
AM: The Spring is definitely a great time to add new pieces to your closet - what are some of your favorite spring must-haves that you love in your closet or will be adding to soon?
AB: With all the fashion weeks coming to an end, a lot of designers start putting out their spring lines, which I am always excited to see what new prints and styles are featured. I especially enjoy it because I am a designer myself and look forward to seeing what they come up with and what is trending. As far as new pieces, I am a sucker for a good pair of jeans that can be worn from day to night and I am always looking for fun shoes to mix it up!
AM: You do a lot of traveling and with NASCAR season starting back up, how do you juggle your calendar versus your days on the track to support your husband?
AB: The key for us is basically just looking ahead and scheduling everything accordingly. Some races I inevitably miss because I am playing polo. Regardless, though, we are both very supportive of each other and we make it work!
AM: With such a busy schedule, great skincare is essential to ensure that you always look like you have a well-rested glow - what beauty products do you swear by?
AB: I typically do not wear much makeup, mainly because I am always on the go. Some of my go-to products are the La Mer oil-infused lotion to hydrate and smooth my skin. I also love Drunk Elephant's day and night serums to help balance out my skin tone. I use the Elta MD tinted moisturizer almost every day, especially when I have a polo match. It provides nice, even coverage, but more importantly has SPF to prevent wrinkles. When traveling, I always carry the Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist! I use it whenever I feel like my skin needs a little boost of hydration.
AM: The last time we chatted with you, you were working on your swim line, how is that going and what can you tell us about it?
AB: We are still in the creative process of my swim line and ironing out all of the details. What I can tell you is that 10% of the proceeds will go to charity, as philanthropy has always been a major part of my life. I will be posting updates on my social media as we progress and am shooting to launch this summer!
AM: When you're not training for your next polo match, designing your line, in a photoshoot or hanging out with Kurt, what can we find you doing when you're taking time for yourself?
AB: In my spare time, I am most likely spending time with friends and family. I also really enjoy being at home just relaxing with my dogs.
AM: When you're home, where can we find you shopping, grabbing cocktails and a drink and do you have a workout studio that you enjoy going to?
AB: My go-to store to shop is Intermix. I also love to check out local boutiques in the area. In Charlotte, Kurt and I enjoy going to Sushi at the Lake for dinner and drinks. In Florida, HMF is a super cool spot. Most of the time, Kurt and I will cook dinner together at the house though.
When I am in Florida, I train at the International Polo Club with polo trainers. In Charlotte, we have a personal trainer who comes to our house to workout. I also like to take aerial silk classes at Air-fit Charlotte.
AM: What charities or philanthropies do you give your time to?
AB: Children's National Medical Center in DC. Capital Hospice Care. Cancer Research and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Local Humane Societies.