Wing Commander (horse)

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Wing Commander
Wing commander.jpg
Breed American Saddlebred
Sire Anacacho Shamrock
Grandsire Edna May's King
Dam Flirtation Walk
Maternal grandsire Kings Genius
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1943
Country United States of America
Color Chestnut, four white socks and star
Owner Dodge Stables
Trainer Earl Teater
Major wins
6 Five-Gaited World's Grand Championships

Wing Commander (1943-1969) was an American Saddlebred show horse out of the mare Flirtation Walk and by the stallion Anacacho Shamrock. Wing Commander was a chestnut with four white socks and a white star on his forehead. He was trained to be a five-gaited horse, meaning he performed the walk, trot, canter, slow gait and rack. Through both sides of his pedigree, Wing Commander traced back to the highly influential Saddlebred stallions Rex McDonald and Bourbon King, who were themselves successful show horses. In 1948, the stallion won his first Five-Gaited World Grand Championship, a title he kept for a total of six years. In total he won 6 Five-Gaited World Grand Championships, and was the first of only two horses to accomplish this. In 1950 Life magazine featured Wing Commander as an example of a fine athlete and an American Idol. He was owned by Dodge Stables, and trained and ridden by Earl Teater. Wing Commander stood at stud at Castleton Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, and died at the age of 29.

Life and career[edit]

Wing Commander was foaled in 1943. He was a chestnut stallion with four white socks and a white star on his forehead. He was out of the mare Flirtation Walk and sired by the stallion Anacacho Shamrock. He was bred and owned by Dodge Stables, a part of Castleton Farm near Lexington, Kentucky which at the time was owned by Frances Dodge.[1] His bloodlines traced back to Rex McDonald and Bourbon King, who appeared on both his sire and dam's side.[2] Wing Commander was a five-gaited Saddlebred, meaning that in addition to the default walk, trot, and canter, he also performed a slow gait and rack. He was trained by the notable Saddlebred trainer Earl Teater and groomed by Gregory Pena. Wing Commander began his show career in 1946, as a three-year-old. He won every show he entered that year, but lost twice the next year, 1947, when he was shown against older horses. Both losses ended with him placing second.[3] In 1948 Wing Commander and Teater won the first of six World's Grand Championships at the World's Championship Horse Show, part of the Kentucky State Fair.[1] In addition to being shown under saddle, Wing Commander was trained to pull a fine harness cart, although he was not shown in harness.[4] Following his show career, Wing Commander was retired to stud and was the leading Saddlebred sire from 1963 to 1968.[5] Wing Commander died January 19, 1969.[6] Wing Commander was grandsire to Sky Watch, who won five World's Grand Championships,[7] and maternal grandsire to Imperator, who won four World's Grand Championships. The two horses were also known for their "duels" or shows where they competed against each other.[8]


Pedigree of Wing Commander [2]
Anacacho Shamrock
Edna Mays King Bourbon King Bourbon Chief
Annie C
Edna May Rex Peavine
Lee Wood
Sally Cameron Highland Squirrel King Forest King
Nellie P
Al Tadena Prince Arthur
Flirtation Walk
King's Genius Bourbon King Bourbon Chief
Annie C
Princess Eugenia Chester Peavine
Queen of Lincoln
Spelling Bee King Vine Rex Peavine
Bourbon Belle
Daughter of Red Light II Red Light II
Daughter of Happy Bell