Saturday, October 24, 2015

10/25/15 Wedding bells in 1937 -1938

The bound volume of Saddle & Bridle which contains old magazines from May 1937 through August 1938 has many fascinating articles, well known horses, horse show results, vintage product ads and numerous sales reports.  This volume also contains four high profile weddings of Saddlebred elite which occurred over an eleven month period from August  1937 through July 1938.  This post looks at who they were and some of their more famous horses.  It's also interesting to note the interactions between the four brides and their horses. 

First up was Miss Audrey Thomas.  She was married on August 22, 1937 to Mr. William L. Taylor.  Miss Thomas was the owner of Audrey's Choice Stables in Rhode Island, which was a well known show stable.  In its heyday, Audrey's Choice Stables owned among others, Flirtation Walk and Parade of Elegance. Another giant was Ivan the Terrible, previously and subsequently known as Anacacho Denmark.  Miss Thomas' husband was the son of the owner of Wildwood Farm of Germantown, Tennessee.  At that time, the trainer at Wildwood Farm was Garland Bradshaw and Audrey's Choice Stable was managed by H. C. Barham.. 

Miss Audrey Thomas
Flirtation Walk with H. C. Barham up
Ivan the Terrible, aka Anacacho Denmark with Ray Harney up
 Dawn of Creation
Winged Wind
owned by Wildwood Farm, Garland Bradshaw up

Next in the bride lineup was Miss Mary Gwyn Fiers.  She married W. R. Ramsey on Christmas Day in 1937.  Mary Gwyn Fiers was from Tulsa Oklahoma, and had owned such prominent horses as Roxie Highland, WGC 3 gaited horse in 1930, 1933 and 1934, King's Genius, and was the current owner of the illustrious breeding stallion, Oklahoma Peavine.  She had been injured in a car accident and began breeding Saddlebreds rather than showing them.  She held a complete dispersal of her horses, a total of 65 head, in October of 1937.   Her show horses were sold earlier, but Oklahoma Peavine did go through her dispersal sale and was advertised in the December issue of Saddle and Bridle for new  owners, Mr. & Mrs. Sam McKinley of Northwind Farm in Lansing Michigan. 
Mary Gwyn Fiers with Roxie Highland
Flashing Parade went through her dispersal sale

Oklahoma Peavine went through her dispersal sale

Roughly six months later, the next bride appeared when Miss Mildred Yount married Edward Manion on June 27, 1938.  Her mother, Pansy Yount, was the owner of Spindletop Farm in Lexington Kentucky. The reception was held at the beautiful Spindletop Hall, which was located on Iron Works Pike near Lexington.  Spindletop owned such greats as Beau Peavine, and the same Roxie Highland owned by the previous bride, Mary Gwyn Fiers. 
Miss Mildred Yount
Beau Peavine, head stallion at Spindletop Farm
Roxie Highland with her colt from 1937

Just a few days later, on July 1, 1938, Frances M. Dodge married James Johnson at Meadowbrook Hall, the estate of her mother, which was located in Rochester, Michigan.  Frances Dodge was a well known exhibitor and breeder of Saddlebreds.  She eventually purchased Castleton Farms in Lexington, Kentucky, just further down Iron Works Pike from Spindletop Farm.  She owned Flirtation Walk, which had previously been owned by Audrey Thomas, and of course, Flirtation Walk became the dam of CH Wing Commander.  
Miss Frances M. Dodge

Frances Dodge on Harmony Lane
CH Wing Commander was bred and owned his 
entire lifetime by Frances Dodge.

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