Old Friends “Hats Off” Auction Finale: The You and I Hat

Welcome to the seventh and final hat up for bid in our “Hats Off to the Horses” Derby hat auction series for Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement in Kentucky!

For our April auction we are putting up for bid a very special hat that honors the Florida-bred multiple stakes winner and super sire, You and I.

Blog-YouAndI-RickCapone3-FramedWe continued our “Rosie and Friends” theme for the month of April and were  pleased to have Shea Leparoux once again modeling for us, this time donning the “You and I” hat at Old Friends alongside her husband, jockey Julien Leparoux.

YouandI-SheandJulien2-Web.LgBlog-YouandI-SheandJulien1You and I’s racing career started off with a bang when he beat future 1994 Derby winner, Go For Gin, at Belmont Park in 1993. The following year You and I was sold  to Edmund Gann Stables. There, under the watchful eye of trainer Bobby Frankel, he went on to victories in the Riva Ridge Stakes (G3), the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) and the Brooklyn Handicap (G2).

Of special interest to all Old Friends fans was the 1993 Hutcheson Stakes race in which a 3-year old You and I came very close to beating Holy Bull and his future Old Friends paddock neighbor, Patton, in a thrilling 3-horse duel!

Blog-Patton8-LauraBattlesYou and I is also the sire of the millionaire filly, You.  All told, You and I sired 15 stakes winners that earned $12 million over their racing careers. He was, indeed, a super sire. You and I was donated by Woodstead Farm to Old Friends, Kentucky, in October 2011.

YouandI-Horse-LauraBattles3-FramedBeth Shannon, a volunteer at Old Friends, stated, “You And I has an elegant kind of beauty. He’s an independent spirit, but when he decides to socialize he’s easy-going and likes to interact, and he’s kind to children. As long as he’s respected. Receiving the respect he deserves matters to most stallions, and You And I is no exception. He’s cooperative, but likes to do things in his own way. When feed is brought to most of the horses, they’re right on top of it. Many race to the feed tub. You And I supervises the delivery of his meals with dignified interest, usually without bring in any rush to ‘come and get it.’ He comes over on his own time, and he eats what he wants, and no more. He knows what he’s doing apparently, since he keeps himself in great shape.”

Blog-YouAndI-RickCapone1-FramedA very special chapeau was needed to honor this accomplished racing star and celebrate his new life at Old Friends.

My research for creating the hat began with reviews of You and I’s victories, his pedigree and his racing connections.

Blog-YouandI-Process1-Web.MedSketches were drafted and swatches were collected as I worked on a design that would showcase You and I’s gorgeous jet black coloring, his unique personality and Edmund A. Gann Stable’s racing silk colors of red and blue.

Blog-YouandI-Process2-Web.MedFor starters I wanted to create a wide brim design with multiple organza brim layers for the basic foundation. I found the perfect red dupioni silk and matching red organza to achieve the design that I had in mind.

Blog-YouandI-Process3-Web.MedWhen I attached the brim pieces to the crown, I tiered the three layers to allow the light to shine through them for the fullest dramatic effect.

Blog-YouandI-Process4-Web.MedBlog-YouandI-Process5-Web.MedFor the trim centerpiece I sculpted a large rose curl out of red silk organza.  I then gathered the three organza brim layers and attached the rose curl trim to the upturned corner of the hat to frame the wearer’s face.

Blog-YouandI-Process6-Web.MedNext, I fashioned a medley of blue and sheer black organza leaves to frame the rose.

Blog-YouandI-Process12-WebFinally, I created five curvaceous “feathers” out of black silk organza and three smaller blue organza leaf stems which I added to the trim centerpiece to give dimension and animation to the overall design.

Blog-YouandI-Process-14-15-ComboBlog-YouandI-Process16-18-ComboA cobalt blue metallic taffeta sash, folded in layers, was made to encircle the crown of the hat.

For a final touch, a large black pebble button was stitched to the back.

Blog-YouandI-Process19-Web.MedTo echo the trim elements on the front of the hat, all three brim layers were loosely gathered in the back of the hat and a medium rose curl and leaves were stitched down to hold them in place.

Blog-YouandIHat8B-Web.MedBlog-YouandI-Process11-Web.MedThe lining of the “You and I” was created out of royal blue satin to reflect the racing silks of the Edmund A. Gann Stable.

Blog-YouandI-Process20-Web.MedThe finished “You and I” design measures just over 25 inches across.

Blog-YouandIHat3A-Web.MedAs a physical remembrance of You and I, several strands of the stallion’s tail hair were braided and woven into the trim of the hat, creating a unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau that captures You and I not only in spirit but in substance as well.

Following a final inspection of the hat top to bottom here in our MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® studio, the “You and I” chapeau was off and running to Old Friends for the big photo shoot with Shea and Julien!

Julien’s fedora hat is part of the new line of men’s hats by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® and although not included in the auction, it is available for purchase from MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®.

For a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the You and I photo shoot at Old Friends, check out the video footage below so generously provided by EquiSport Photos.

We want to extend a big thank you to Shea Leparoux and her husband, jockey Julien Leparoux who have been super models for our auction hats this season and to Matt and Wendy Wooley of EquiSport Photos who worked their video and photographic magic once again. The gorgeous blue dress that Bella Rose Clothing Boutique, Lexington, Kentucky furnished for Shea matched the “You and I” hat beautifully. Our thanks to everyone!

The “You and I” auction hat is up for bid from April 1st through the 11th at this You and I EBay link; bidding ends April 11th at 8 PM EST.

Please also enjoy this slideshow of the “You and I” chapeau and the horse who inspired its creation.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For more information, please visit the You and I hat webpage and also the You and I horse webpage at maggiemae.com.

Thank you for visiting Hats and Horses, and Hats Off to You and I!!



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