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Instructors

John “Basil” Westley, a veteran of polo for more than thirty years, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the age of seven John’s family moved to Sao Paolo, Brazil. His father had an investment ranch in Northern Brazil which is where John started riding horses as a child. John’s formal equestrian education came during his school days in England while away at boarding school.

In 1976, after John finished college, receiving an N.C.A. in Agriculture from the Chadacre Agricultural Institute in Suffolk, England, he headed to New Zealand. He traveled there from England by working his passage for three months on the Blue Star Line cargo ship working with an all-Chinese crew. Once in New Zealand, John worked in cattle ranching and boundary riding for the government. He then bought a farm in Rangiora, New Zealand and started farming. During this time John began participating in hunts and playing polo. He passionately pursued polo and making horses, playing in both New Zealand and Australia. He then came to the US in 1987 to play polo professionally for Dr. Dan Reid for four years, and went on to play professionally for many other teams at polo clubs throughout California.

Since coming to the US, John has worked in all facets of polo from training horses to club management, ranch management and teaching. He was the manager of the Sacramento Polo Club from 1992 to 1995. In 1995 he came to Santa Barbara to help manage the polo at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club under David Cummings, the former Executive Director of the USPA.

John is currently living in Santa Barbara with his wife, Wendy. Their 18-yr-old daughter, Patricia, is attending Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania. John is the owner and director of the Santa Barbara Polo School located at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria, California. John also is the coach for the collegiate and scholastic polo teams from the University of Santa Barbara, Westmont College, Santa Barbara City College, Cate High School and Santa Barbara High School. These schools are involved each winter season in the Santa Barbara Polo School's Collegiate/Scholastic Arena Polo Program for the greater Santa Barbara area.

 

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