Explore the serene beauty of the Woodland Garden. The sparkling snowflakes overhead were designed to emulate horseshoes—a symbol of the Great Estate’s equestrian past.
Discover more about the Dodge-Wilson family’s passion for horses here.
Frances Dodge’s lifelong passion for horses and racing was linked to her prowess as a businesswoman as well.
Frances owned 80 horses by the time she was 22 years old. She opened the world-renowned Dodge Stables when she was also in her twenties, and owned the Detroit Race Track (Wolverine Raceway) for trotters, and the Pompano Race Track in Florida (her brother Richard was the track manager).
Frances Dodge bought Castleton Farms in Lexington, Kentucky, where she became adept at horse racing and breeding. Castleton was to become a standardbred breeding farm as successful as any worldwide.
Frances set the record for trotting under saddle – a record that stood for 54 years until it was broken by a horse bred by one of her daughters. She won many national awards in her career and was considered one of the women pioneers in the sport.
In 1972, she was posthumously elected to the World Championship Horse Show Hall of Fame, along with her horse Wing Commander, and trainer Earl Teater.