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The long awaited 75th birthday celebration of WGC CH Wing Commander was held on Saturday, April 14 at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, Michigan. Meadow Brook Hall is the historic former estate and farm of Frances Dodge and Dodge Stables, the home of Wing Commander. The event at the 88,000 square foot english tudor mansion was sponsored by the American Saddlebred Horse Association of Michigan.
Meadow Brook Hall was ornately built from 1926-1929 by Matilda Dodge, widow of
John Francis Dodge, and her second husband, Alfred Gwynn Wilson. In 1957, the Wilson’s donated the entire estate plus two million dollars towards the creation of Oakland University, which was a satellite campus of Michigan State until it became autonomous in 1970.
Attendees of the gala included the staff at Meadow Brook Hall, locals of the
Detroit/Rochester area, and several members of the ASB community from several states. This eagerly anticipated event celebrated the life of Wing Commander (April 23, 1943-January 19, 1969), who was a grand champion who forged many of todays top breeding horses and stars of the tanbark over the years since. The Dodge family was an equine dynasty in the world of ASB, Hackneys, and Standardbreds for well over half a century in Michigan, Kentucky, and South Carolina.
Guests at the party enjoyed touring the various spacious rooms of the hall, admired the original furnishings and works of art, and enjoyed the memorabilia relating to the Dodges, Wilsons and later generations. After a strolling dinner, guests moved to the grand ballroom for a few short speeches, butler passed desserts and enjoyed dancing to d.j. provided music which included big band era music by sensations of the time, including Frank Sinatra and the Dorsey Brothers, Tommy and Jimmy, who played in that very ballroom many times as the Dodge family were big fans of them and their music.
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Wing Commander's 75th
Birthday Celebration at Meadow Brook Hall