“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.