Owned and bred by Carol Robertson and daughter-in-law Jaime of Hillsburgh, Ont. and trained by Carol’s husband and CQHA’s 2022 Trainer of the Year Bryn Robertson , Had to Be Ivory completed his remarkable 2022 campaign undefeated in six races which included wins in some of Canada’s richest Quarter Horse races; the Picov Maturity, and the Ontario Bred Maturity.
The 2009 bay gelding has 22nd career wins from 28 starts in his long career.
A son of Ivory James and out of Robertson’s top producing mare Had to Be Fandango, his life time earnings currently stand at $363,310.
In his final race of the 2002 season “Ivory” as he is affectionately called solidified his position as the best Quarter Horse in the country with a one-length score in the 440-yard dash in a time of 21.410, besting the former record of 21.520 set by Mitford in 2013. His final time speed index of 112 is one of the highest marks in recent Ajax Downs history.
“The fact that he is a home bred, born on our farm, makes us very proud, ” said Bryn. “We just try to keep him happy, fed well and he just goes out there and does it.”
Had to Be Ivory was the 2019 Horse of the Year at Ajax Downs but caught a virus in 2020 that was serious enough that the Robertson’s thought the horse would not recover.
“He was very sick and was in Guelph at the equine hospital for a couple of weeks. He came back in 2021 and he was good but this year he came out firing and we are tickled pink.”
Ivory was the nearly unanimous pick for the 2022 AQHA Canadian Bred Race horse of the year, as voted by the AQHA Racing committee delegates. This is the third time in his career that her has earned this prestigious award.
Bryn Robertson and his daughter Kim Sabila attended the awards ceremony on January 18, 200 hosted in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to accept the award on behalf of Had to Be Ivory and the family.
The award is announce at 28:18 of this video!
The Robertsons said Had to Be Ivory will be back to race again in 2023!
This editorial was written with help from Jennifer Morrison / Ajax Downs for ontarioracing.com