Malibu’s burgeoning polo player: Wyatt Goldberg has the lightning

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Fourteen-year-old Wyatt Goldberg has been playing polo since he was 4, and also plays soccer for Malibu High School. Photos Courtesy of Brian Goldberg

Athletically and academically gifted 14-year-old MHS freshman excels and polo and soccer fields

By Barbara Burke

Special to The Malibu Times

From the time his dad tenderly put him on a horse when he was only 6 months old, Malibu’s Wyatt Goldberg, 14, has loved the gorgeous animals — and he loves to play polo as well.

“We named him Wyatt Lightning Goldberg,” his father Brian Goldberg said, noting that he had no idea how prescient and apt the appellation would become.

“My wife, Ingrid, Wyatt’s mom, gave me polo lessons as a birthday gift and Wyatt and I took lessons, and he’s just soared from then,” Brian said.

Wyatt remembers starting to play polo when he was just a wee wane.

“I attended camps and took lessons at Rancho Sea Air with Gina McCloskey, starting when I was 4 years old — I learned a lot there.” He said.

McCloskey, Brian Goldberg notes, grew up in Malibu herself and once trained Ronald Reagan.  

Throughout his years attending Malibu public schools — Wyatt went to Webster Elementary and Malibu Middle School — he continued to learn and prosper in the polo world. He’s developed into one of those young athletes who is confident, but cool; talented, yet humble, according to all who coach him.

“Wyatt is a fantastic horseman and he’s one of those kids who is a dream to coach because he listens so well and implements what he’s learning methodically,” said Ardeshir Radepour, former USC polo coach, who has coached Wyatt in interscholastic polo competitions beginning when he was only 9 years old. “The kid is sweet, well-mannered, courteous, and there’s no phoniness with Wyatt. He’s absolutely one of the most beautiful human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure to coach and be friends with.”

Other coaches throughout Wyatt’s polo career wholeheartedly agree.  

“Wyatt is a great kid! He is a very good polo player and he has an uncanny ability to ride any horse calmly — when we play polo, for two of the chukkers you play you’re on horses you’ve never played before and Wyatt can pretty much get on any horse and accomplish a lot in the game, which is hard to do.” Claudia Uretz, coach of the Santa Barbara Polo Club Interscholastic team, said. “He also has a wonderful ability to stay calm — he’s a quiet person and can also keep a horse calm, which is important. I really enjoy coaching Wyatt as he listens and applies whatever he’s told.” 

Although polo defines Wyatt’s field of dreams, the MHS soccer field is another place where he demonstrates both athletic and intellectual prowess. 

“I’ve had the pleasure of coaching Wyatt for three years,” MHS boys soccer coach Liam Anderson said. “His raw athleticism, coachability, and impressive dedication to practice and personal development set him apart. Wyatt’s leadership qualities shine as the captain of our JV boys soccer team.”

“Wyatt leads by example, fostering a competitive environment that motivates his teammates to excel,” Anderson continued. “In his first year, Wyatt contributed to an undefeated season in the AYSO Extra program, followed by two successful seasons in the AYSO United Club program.  His commitment and achievements make him a standout player.”  

With regard to Wyatt’s academic abilities, Brian proudly notes that Wyatt has been a straight-A student since he was young.

“Math is cool and I like art as well,” Wyatt said. “I’m in all the honors classes that I can take and I enjoy honors biology.”

During the time he spends away from athletics and academics, Wyatt thoroughly enjoys fishing. He and his family belong to the boat club and fish around Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands. His greatest catch? Perhaps the yellowfin tuna he caught in Cabo. 

“That’s because we made super good poke!” Wyatt said.

Wyatt’s blessed future, both with regard to academics and polo — and hopefully even fishing — can be summed up in one phrase defining his potential, stated by Jeff Scheraga, director of the Santa Barbara Polo Academy: “The sky’s the limit.”