Hats Off to Patton

Our fifth annual “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” auction series with Old Friends Equine is underway! Each month, from November through April, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® creates a one of a kind Derby hat honoring one of the Thoroughbred retirees at Old Friends. The hat then goes up for auction on Ebay with all of the proceeds going to Old Friends. To date nearly $18,000 has been raised.

We are so pleased this year to have jockey Rosie Napravnik modeling our “Hats Off to the Horses” chapeaux for us. Thank you, Rosie! A very special thanks also goes to Matt and Wendy Wooley of EquiSport Photos and also to Bella Rose Clothing Boutique, Lexington, Kentucky for furnishing Rosie’s stunning outfits for the photo shoots.

The second auction hat now up for bid on EBay honors 22-year-old Kentucky-bred, Patton. This bay stallion arrived at Old Friends in 2011 thanks to the generous donation of Brereton C. Jones.


Volunteer Beth Shannon describes Patton as “one of the most solidly trustworthy, kind horses I know. He’s quiet, never calls attention to himself, but is very giving.”

It was indeed this gentle spirit that provided me with my greatest inspiration as I created the “Patton” chapeau.

Beth also shared her impressions of Patton in terms of colors: “a horse who feels like earth; green and moist and fertile, sweet as June, cloudless as an early summer sky, but deeper, more grounded… [in] quiet versions of blue, brown and green.”

Reflecting on Beth’s impressions I found the perfect bluish green dupioni silk for the hat foundation.



I also enlisted the help of a brilliant fashion consultant who offered her expert guidance along the way…

To reflect the extraordinarily sweet nature of this horse, a “top hat” Derby design befitting a true gentleman stallion was chosen with a gently upturned brim and a moderate “top hat” crown.


A rose curl trim was planned in swirling layers of deep plum silk, metallic blue taffeta, dusty lavender organza, cobalt blue taffeta, periwinkle silk and soft turquoise organza. Variegated fabric leaves in several shades of green were created to frame the floral centerpiece.



Alternating layers of gleaming black and chocolate tulle swirling around the crown were gathered to form a loosely sculpted bow with long draping tails to symbolize Patton’s bay coat and black mane and tail.


It was time to ship the “Patton” hat!

The photo shoot at Old Friends of the “Patton” hat with Rosie Napravnik went off without a hitch despite the cold November chill. I still can’t get over the images Matt and Wendy got that day. They reflect an extraordinary balance of color, texture and light that simply takes your breath away. Enjoy the photos below and click on this “behind-the-scenes” video courtesy of Matt and Wendy of EquiSport Photos to see what it all looked like behind the scenes!




Please enjoy this slideshow of the “Patton” chapeau as seen on the “Patton” hat webpage.

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EBay bidding for the “Patton” chapeau started on December 1st and ends December 11th at 8 PM EST. For updates on the ongoing auction series, please visit our new Facebook Page.


And Hats Off to Patton and to all the horses of Old Friends this holiday season!



4 Replies to “Hats Off to Patton”

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