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Ian Balding

Ian Balding
Born November 7, 1938
U.S. Flag of the United States
Occupation Horse trainer
Spouse(s) Emma Hastings-Bass
Children Clare, Andrew

Ian Balding (born November 7, 1938 in the United States) emigrated with his family to England in 1945. Kingsclere became his home at the age of 26 and it is here that earned his reputation as an internationally respected trainer. He principally trains horses for flat races, but did however bring Crystal Spirit to victory in 1991 at the Sun Alliance Novices' Hurdle.[1] Ian Balding has had influence on many top class thoroughbreds and race horses, amongst whom some are; Mill Reef, Lochsong, Mrs Penny, Glint of Gold, Diamond Shoal, Gold and Ivory, Selkirk, Forest Flower, Dashing Blade, Robellino, Silver Fling, King Of Clubs, Lochangel,Top Cees, Crystal Spirit, and Tagula.[2] Ian Balding retired in 2002 and gave his Park House stables licence at Kingsclere, Berkshire, to his son Andrew.[3]



Balding was trainer of the winning horse, Mill Reef (1968–1986), ridden by Geoff Lewis, in the 1971 The Derby Stakes or Epsom Derby. The winning time was recorded at 2:37.14. Balding was again Mill Reef's trainer when the horse won the 1971 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France. Philanthropist Paul Mellon was Mill Reef's owner and the horse was again ridden by jockey Geoff Lewis. The purse won was €1,600,000. Mill Reef was introduced to racing older horses at Sandown Park in the Eclipse Stakes. With the same owner and jockey Mill Reef came in at a time of 2:05.40. 1971 was an excellent year for this three year old horse and its team, coming in first at the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes with a time of 2:32.56 on the 1 mile 4 furlongs (2,414 m) Ascot Racecourse. Even though Mill Reef was born and bred at the Virginia Rokeby Stables he was sent to England to race on turf courses in Europe and to be trained by Balding. Geoff Lewis carried Mill Reef to victory on numerous occasions bearing the owner's colors: black with gold Cross, stripe on cap.[4] Mill Reef also brought in victory at St Leger.[5]

Balding and thoroughred owner, Paul Mellon entered the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud twice consecutively. In 1982, four year old thoroughbred Glint of Gold ridden by Pat Eddery placed first with a time of 2:41.4. Again in 1983, the Saint-Cloud Racecourse saw a thoroughbred of Paul Mellon's stock, Diamond Shoal ridden by Steve Cauthen, win with a time of 2:34.9.

Balding has won several purses of €870,000 at the Grosser Preis von Baden (a German thoroughbred horse race at Iffezheim Racecourse in Baden-Baden of 2400 meters (12 furlongs) in length). Glint of Gold a four year old thoroughbred performed well in 1982 under jockey Pat Eddery. The time of 2:29.10 by Glint of Gold was shortened to 2:28.00 by Diamond Shoal another of Paul Mellon's 4 year old thoroughbreds again ridden by Steve Cauthen in 1983.

Again in 1985 Balding trained Gold and Ivory from Paul Mellon's thoroughbreds to win in the Grosser Preis von Baden purse ridden by Cauthen. The winning time was 2:37.80 slower than that set in 1982, and 1983.

In 1986 Forest Flower, a three-year-old thoroughbred filly owned by Mellon, trained by Balding and ridden by Tony Ives completed the 6 furlongs (1,207 m) Cherry Hinton Stakes at the Newmarket Racecourse in 1:12.38 . Forest Flower performed well again in 1987 with the same trainer and jockey, winning the Irish 1,000 Guineas in the Republic of Ireland. Forest Flower, finished the 1-mile (1.6 km) at the Curragh Racecourse in 1:43.9.

In 1986 Balding trained Insular, owned by the Queen Mother, which won the 1986 Imperial Cup at Sandown.[6]

Jockey Pat Eddery rode Silver Fling at the Goodwood Racecourse in 1988. This three year old thoroughbred was trained by Ian Balding to capture the King George Stakes purse. Silver Fling won the 5 furlongs (1,006 m) in0:58.50.

Dewhurst Stakes is a 7 furlongs (1,408 m) at Newmarket's Rowley Mile course. Ian Balding trained Dashing Blade to come in first in 1989 with a time of 1:25.43. Jockey John Matthias and owner Jeff Smith were also part of this team.

1989 again saw a 4 year old thoroughbred, Silver Fling brought to the winner's circle which was trained by Ian Balding. George W. Strawbridge, Jr., the owner, together with jockey John Matthias won the purse by completing the 1,000 metres (approximately 5 furlongs) at Longchamp Racecourse in 0:59.9. The purse at the french Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp was a successful win.

Jeff Smith's two-year-old thoroughbred, Dashing Blade received guidance from Ian Balding to come ahead in the 1989 National Stakes. 7 furlongs (1,408 m) at the Curragh could be completed in 1:25.2 with jockey John Matthias.

A 5 furlongs (1,006 m) Group 3 flat horse race was completed by Silver Fling in 1989. Jockey John Matthias rode the horse to victory in a time of 0:58.27. The trainer was Ian Balding to help achieve this Palace House Stakes purse at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course.

Paul Mellon also entered a two-year-old thoroughbred Heart of Darkness in the 1990 National Stakes after training from Ian Balding. Jockey Pat Shanahan brought Heart of Darkness to victory in the 7 furlongs (1,408 m) race with a time of 1:23.1

The Washington Singer Stakes was also a win for Heart of Darkness also in 1990. Steve Cauthen, jockey and Ian Balding entered the Listed flat horse race which is 7 furlongs (1,408 m). Heart of Darkness placed first at this Newbury Racecourse with a time of 1:30.41.

Prix Eugène Adam at the french Maisons-Laffitte Racecourse was a successful win for Dashing Blade who was ridden by John Matthias in 1990. This three year old thoroughbred completed the distance of 2,000 metres (approximately 1 mile 2 furlongs) in 2:03.6 under the skillful training of Ian Balding.

Jeff Smith's three-year-old thoroughbred Dashing Blade competed in the 1990 Gran Premio d'Italia. Jockey Brian Rouse ran the race at the San Siro Racecourse in Milan. Ian Balding's training paid off with a time of 2:29.2

1 mile 2 furlongs and 7 yards (2,018 m) was run by Song of Sixpence in 2:07.40. This six year old thoroughbred was ridden by jockey, Steve Cauthen and trained by Ian Balding to complete the Winter Hill Stakes in first place.

1991 Ian Balding and jockey Jimmy Frost brought a four year old novice racehorse, Crystal Spirit, to victory at Sun Alliance Novices' Hurdle. This Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race is a length of 2 miles 5 furlongs (4,225 m) at the Longchamp Racecourse.

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes saw Selkirk win with a time of 1:44.34 in 1991. In 1992, Ian Balding was the trainer for Selkirk, ridden by now retired horse racing jockey Ray Cochrane. George W. Strawbridge, Jr., the owner saw the horse come in first in a time of 1:36.99 Selkik also won the Celebration Mile in 1992 with a time of 1:41:72 on the 1-mile (1.6 km) Goodwood Racecourse. Again Ray Cochrane was the jockey. Selkirk received three victories in 1992, achieving success at the Challenge Stakes. the four year old thoroughbred ran the distance of 7 furlongs (1,408 m) in 1:22.27 at Newmarket's Rowley Mile course.

1992 was a busy season for Ian Balding, who was also able to train Poker Chip and achieve victory at the Flying Childers Stakes. Working together with jockey Michael Hills, the 5 furlongs (1,006 m) Doncaster Racecourse was completed in 1:00.56. Michael Hills, an amazing English flat racing jockey has had several career race victory successes.

Lochsong, a four year old thoroughbred won the 1992 Ayr Gold Cup under the guidance of Ian Balding and riding skill of Francis Arrowsmith.[7] This 6 furlongs (1,207 m) flat horse race at Ayr Racecourse saw a finishing time of 1:15.51. Ian Balding showed his skill in continuing training Lochsong, a bay Thoroughbred filly, who was a winner in a flat horse race for two-year-old and above thoroughbreds. Lochsong was ridden by jockey, Frankie Dettori, and the horse owner was Jeff Smith. Nunthorpe Stakes was won at a time of 0:58.12 in 1993. Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp at Longchamp Racecourse was successfully completed by this team, 1,000 metres (approximately 5 furlongs) in 0:59.7 brought in the 1993 purse. 1994 again saw Lochsong, bring in a victory by jockey, Frankie Dettori and trainer, Ian Balding with a time of 1:00.84. This time was over a distance of 5 furlongs and 6 yards (1,011 m) at Sandown Park in the Temple Stakes. The 1993 Group 3 flat horse race Sprint Stakes purse was captured again by the team of Lochsong, Frankie Dettori, and Ian Balding. This 5 furlongs 6 yards (1,011 m) race was made in a net time of 1:00.32. The Oak Tree Stakes purse was also an easy win in 1993 for this same team. Lochsong ran the 7 furlongs (1,408 m) Goodwood Racecourse in 1:00.20. Again in 1994, the time of 0:57.36 at Goodwood Racecourse won the Oak Tree Stakes purse. King's Stand Stakes gave victory also in 1994 to this same team for Lochsong who easily completed the 5 furlongs (1,006 m) at Ascot Racecourse in a time of 1:00.73 1994 also brought victory again at the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp in France bringing in a purse for a run completed in 0:57.2. Lochsong was voted as the 1993 European Horse of the Year because of the horse training ability of Ian Balding. Frankie Dettori, an Italian jockey of fame who was a Lester Award winner as well as nominated as a members of the Order of the British Empire.

Trainer Ian Balding, and jockey Walter Swinburn combined to help the two-year-old thoroughbred, Tagula run the distance of 6 furlongs (1,207 m) in 1:11.83. This recorded time at the Newmarket Racecourse was enough to win the purse at the July Stakes in 1995. Robert & Elizabeth Hitchins had success at the Prix Morny also with Tagula in 1995. Walter Swinburn and Ian Balding were able to complete the 1,200 metres (approximately 6 furlongs) French Deauville Racecourse in 1:11.6

Jockey Pat Eddery rode a four year old thoroughbred named Grey Shot in 1996 at Goodwood Racecourse. Ian Balding as Grey Shot's trainer achieved a time of 3:25.17 in a 2 miles (3,219 m) Group 2 flat horse race, which earned the team the Goodwood Cup. Ian Balding teamed up with former flat racing jockey Pat Eddery who won the Lester Award for Flat Jockey of the Year.

Showing his skill at training thoroughbreds in a flat race, Ian Balding trained Jayannpee, a 5 year old thoroughbred to complete the 6 furlongs 8 yards (1,214 m) race. Willie Ryan, the jockey, rode Jayannpee to win the Hackwood Stakes purse in 1996.

The 1996 Princess Margaret Stakes purse was achieved by the filly Seebe who was ridden by Michael Hills. This 6 furlongs (1,207 m) Group 3 flat horse race was achieved in a time of 1:14.81 thanks to the skillful handling by Ian Balding.

Grey Shot, a 5 year old thoroughbred ran the a distance of 2 miles (3,219 m) at Newmarket Racecourse in 1997. The Jockey Club Cup was the price to the delight of trainer Ian Balding and jockey Richard Quinn.

A 7 furlongs (1,408 m) Listed flat horse race was raced in 1997 by Hidden Meadow. The European Free Handicap was completed in 1:25.60 by jockey Frankie Dettori and trainer Ian Balding.

1998 saw a win for Ian Balding the trainer of Jeff Smith's Lochangel at Nunthorpe Stakes. This race was completed in 0:56.83 by jockey Frankie Dettori.[8]

Top Cees was entered in the United Kingdom flat handicap race at Newmarket Racecourse in 1999. the Cesarewitch Handicap purse was won with a time of 3:40.30 over 2 miles 1 furlong 65 yards (3,479 m). Again teaming up with jockey Kieren Fallon as able to bring this 9 year old thoroughbred, Top Cees to victory.

Grangeville was the 1999 winner at the Ayr Gold Cup for trainer Ian Balding, and jockey Kieren Fallon. 1:11.16 was the completion time to sin this purse.[7]

Ian Balding and jockey Kieren Fallon again pair up in 1999 and bring a four year old thoroughbred Trans Island to victory at the Prix Daniel Wildenstein. 1:44.9 was the time of completion for the distance of 1,600 metres (approximately 1 mile) at the Group 2 flat horse Longchamp Racecourse.

Continuing their good fortune in 1999 Kieren Fallon rode Putuna, a 4 year old thoroughbred filly to victory at Dahlia Stakes. Ian Balding trained Putuna and she covered the 1 mile 1 furlong (1,811 m) Newmarket's Rowley Mile course in 1:46.10

Halmahera is a 4 year old thoroughbred which was ridden by jockey Kevin Darley in the 1999 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle Racecourse. A time of 1:11.23 on the 6 furlongs (1,207 m) brought in the purse, for this horse trained by Ian Balding

Later, in 2001, Ian Balding was able to bring a four year old thoroughbred, Distant Prospect and arrive again at Newmarket Racecourse. Distant Prospect travelled the length of the Newmarket Racecourse, 2 miles 2 furlongs (3,621 m) from Cambridgeshire to place first for the Cesarewitch Handicap purse in Suffolk with jockey, Martin Dwyer. This length was completed in a time of 4:00.27.

In 2001, Ian Balding brings Nicobar a 4 year old thoroughbred to Sandown Park racecourse to win the Sandown Mile in 1:49.61. Irish born, Kieren Fallon was Nicobar's jockey at this event.

Also in 2001 Ian Balding sees Firebreak ridden by jockeyMartin Dwyer come to victory. The two-year-old thoroughbred won the Mill Reef Stakes in 1:11.79 at the Newbury Racecourse which is 6 furlongs and 8 yards (1,214 m) in length.

The 1 mile 2 furlongs and 7 yards (2,018 m) at Sandown Park as completed in 2:08.69 by Border Arrow. This six year old thoroughbred won the 2001 Brigadier Gerard Stakes under the guidance of Ian Balding and jockey Frankie Dettori.

Trans Island, now a 5 year old thoroughbred won the Diomed Stakes in 2000. Kieren Fallon, jockey, and trainer, Ian Balding, see the 1 mile 114 yards (1,714 m) completed in 1:44.15 at the Epsom Downs Racecourse.


  • Ian Balding won the 1971 award as British flat racing Champion Trainer of flat racing in Great Britain. This award is presented to the trainer whose horses have won the most prize money during a season.
  • Honorary member of the Jockey Club was bestowed upon the retired race horse trainer Ian Balding.


Marriage and children

He married Emma Hastings-Bass, now Lady Emma Balding, in 1969, and had two children.[1][10]

  • Andrew Balding Kingsclere horse trainer.

Published works

  • Balding, Ian Making the Running: A Racing Life. (2004) Headline Book Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0755312783


  1. 1.0 1.1 Phoenix Reach, MAKING THE RUNNING by IAN BALDING, http://www.phoenix-reach.com/MAKING-THE-RUNNING-by-IAN-BALDING, retrieved 2007-07-04 
  2. Park House history Kingsclere 1964-2003, http://www.kingsclere.com/History.htm#ian%20balding, retrieved 2007-07-05 
  3. Edmondson, Richard (July 29, 2002), RACING: Ian Balding retires to let his son Andrew take over Independent, The (London), http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20020729/ai_n12630602, retrieved 2007-07-05 
  4. Mill Reef, http://www.mischiefblue.co.uk/millreef.html, retrieved 2007-07-05 
  5. Horses for Causes, (2007), Clare Balding, patron of Horses for Causes - supporting charities ..., http://www.horsesforcauses.com/patron/index.htm, retrieved 2007-07-07 
  6. Rock, Graham (March 31, 2002), Queen Mother, 1900 - 2002 The racing royal whose beloved horses gave her huge happiness, http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,676840,00.html, retrieved 2007-07-06 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Napit.co.uk (2003 - 2007), Ayr Gold Cup History and Previous Winners, http://www.napit.co.uk/viewus/infobank/horse_races/other_flat_races_uk/ayr_gold_cup.php, retrieved 2007-07-05 
  8. Napit.co.uk (2003 - 2007), Nunthorpe Stakes History and Previous Winners, http://www.napit.co.uk/viewus/infobank/horse_races/g1_flat_races_uk/nunthorpe_stakes.php, retrieved 2007-07-05 
  9. The Jockey Club - Appointments following The Jockey Club’s Stewards of The Jockey Club - 2007, 2007, http://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/doc.php?id=41581, retrieved 2007-07-05 
  10. Lady Emma is only daughter of the trainer Peter Hastings-Bass and sister of another trainer, the 17th Earl of Huntingdon.

External links


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