Ivor G. Balding, who trained for prominent breeder/owner C.V. Whitney, died Jan. 21 at his Camden, S.C., home. He was 96.
Born in Leicestershire, England, and a professional polo player in his native land, Balding and his brother, Barney, followed another brother, Gerald, to the U.S., where all three were professional polo players. After attending Cornell University in New York state, Balding became farm manager in 1936 for C.V. Whitney Farm in Old Westbury, N.Y., and three years later was placed in charge of the Whitney farm near Lexington as well. In addition to overseeing Whitney's Thoroughbred operations, Balding introduced the prize-winning Angus cattle herd that he used to develop innovative pasture husbandry at the farms in New York and Kentucky.
Balding was largely responsible for persuading Whitney to buy English stallion Mahmoud from the Aga Khan. Winner of the 1936 Epsom Derby in record time, Mahmoud became a leading sire in the U.S.
In 1962, Balding took over the training of Whitney's horses. He was the leading trainer at the Saratoga meeting in 1966, when his runners included Spinaway Stakes winner Silver True. Two years later, Balding sent out Chompion to win the Travers Stakes at the Spa.
Balding was preceded in death by his first wife, Frances, and by Gerald, who trained for John Hay (Jock) Whitney in England. His survivors include his wife, Polly, and four children, plus a nephew, Ian Balding, who trained the great European champion Mill Reef for the late Paul Mellon. Now retired, Ian Balding passed his stable on to his son, Andrew. Gerald Balding's son, Toby, is an English steeplechase trainer.
Contributions may be made to the Hospice of Kershaw County, 2001 W. DeKalb St., Camden, S.C. 29020, or the Walter M. Crowe Animal Shelter, S. 460 Fair St., Camden, S.C. 29020.