Old Friends Race Horse Rescue Auctions Derby Hats Online

“Hats off to the Horses: The Road to The Derby”

An Online Auction of Exclusive

Kentucky Derby Hats Launches November 1st

New Chapeau inspired by Record Holder Rapid Redux

Proceeds to Benefit Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement

GEORGETOWN, KY, (Old Friends) – On Thursday November 1st, Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY, will launch its 4th Annual “Hats off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” online fashion auction.

Once again milliner Sally Faith Steinmann, owner of Cape Cod’s Maggie Mae Designs®, will create and donate six handcrafted Kentucky Derby chapeaus that will be auctioned monthly, right up until the First Saturday in May, to raise funds for the non-profit organization, which is devoted to the dignified retirement of former racehorses.

The first hat to go on the block for the 2012-2013 season will be dedicated to one of Old Friends’s newest retirees, Rapid Redux, the extraordinary gelding that made headlines last year for winning 22 consecutive races.

A link to the live auction page can be found at 8pm on November 1st at www.oldfriendsequine.org, where full details of the item will be described. The hat can also be viewed at www.maggiemaedesigns.com. The fashion auction will last for 10 days.

The Horse

In December of 2011, Rapid Redux won an $8,000 claiming race at Penn National and set off a win streak that continued into early 2012.  The son of Pleasantly Perfect earned his 22nd consecutive victory, and became the Joe DiMaggio of horse racing with the North American record for consecutive victories, at Laurel Park before retiring in January.

Trainer David Wells permanently pensioned Rapid Redux to Old Friends in May.

The Hat

Ms Steinmann has once again created an extraordinary and elegant hat to honor an amazing athlete, as she has done each year for this unique auction.

Here, Steinmann says she used the stable’s pink and yellow racing silks and Rapid Redux’s career accolades as her primary inspiration.

The hat’s foundation was created using bright fuchsia dupioni silk and wavy yards of hot pink organza. Spilling playfully over the edge, the wispy organza layers extend the dramatic brim of this hat to nearly 26 inches.

The hat was then trimmed with hot pink rose curls–22 of them to be exact, one for each race won. The petals are nestled in multi-hued green leaves that are accented with yellow beaded bow loops.

As a finishing touch “The under layer was done in chocolate-colored tulle,” says Steinmann, “to represent Rapid Redux’s shiny chestnut coat.”

One other innovation for the “Rapid Redux” chapeau was the weaving of a physical remembrance of the horse into the design: Strands of the great gelding’s tail hairs were braided and woven into the trim.

Even if you’re not Kentucky Derby-bound, this exclusive hat would make an elegant addition to any formal ensemble.

“We’re so excited to launch another season of Derby hats by Sally Steinmann,” said Michael Blowen, president and founder of Old Friends. “We can’t thank her enough for her generosity and her continuing efforts in this project.”

“Hats and horses are my passions,” says Steinmann.  “It’s such a thrill to bring them together for Old Friends.”

Now in it’s 4th year, the “Hats off to the Horses” online auction has raised over $13,000 for Old Friends since it’s inception in the fall of 2009.

For additional information contact Cynthia Grisolia at cagrisolia@yahoo.com (347-423-7322) or Maggie Mae Designs® at sally@maggiemae.com (508-430-1626).