This year our Derby hat fundraiser began on January 1st and will come to a close on April 11th. An annual event, “Hats Off” features one-of-a-kind couture Derby hats created by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit the retired racehorses of Old Friends. All proceeds from the sale of the hats go to Old Friends.
The fourth and final hat up for bid in our 2020 Hats Off to the Horses auction series for Old Friends honors two-time graded stakes winner and turf hero, Slim Shadey.
Bred in Great Britain by Phil Cunningham, Slim raced for two seasons in Europe and then made his U.S. racing debut with a stunning win in the 2012 San Marcos S (G2) at Santa Anita. After a 9 year racing career, Slim ran his last race on August 2, 2019. Old Friends is grateful to his final racing owner, Michael M. Hui, and to trainer Michael J. Maker for enabling Slim Shadey’s retirement to Dream Chase Farm on September 10, 2019.
In a September 10, 2019 Paulick Report, the Old Friends President Michael Blowen stated, “I stalked Slim Shadey for more than two years. From a sunny day in the winner’s circle at Saratoga two years ago when owner Michael Dubb agreed to retire him to Old Friends when his racing days were finished until Michael Hui, who claimed him from Dubb, agreed to do the same. And he’s finally here.”
“I’ll never know the thrill of winning the Kentucky Derby,” Blowen continued, “but it can’t be any more exciting than watching Slim come off the trailer today. Thanks to all the Michaels: Dubb, Hui, and Maker for giving this Michael one of the great thrills of his life.”
Clearly, a very special one-of-a-kind hat was needed to honor this beloved new retiree of Old Friends.
To learn more about Slim’s life I went online and watched videos of his life on the track, read articles about his career as a racehorse…
Next, a sketch of the hat was made, fabrics were chosen and we were off and away!
Slim Shadey raced for several different stables during his career, and I needed a hat to reflect the various connections, a combination of his pink, black and white silks colors inspired the trimmings of this stunning Derby hat.
A large hat foundation was created using a base layer of soft pink dupioni silk.
The edge of the brim was trimmed with a single layer of pink silk organza ruffle which allows the light to pass through the sheer fabric; a fancy black braiding was top stitched where the silk layer meets the brim edge.
To further showcase the racing silk colors, a large rose curl created out of alternating layers of pink dupioni silk and white silk organza was fashioned to adorn the front of the hat.
Black stars set against a white background were one of the racing silk patterns Slim raced under during his racing career. To reflect this image, three black beaded “stars” were handcrafted on wire as an accent for the pink rose.
The floral centerpiece is framed with leaves created out of black silk organza, and for a final touch, a medley of black and white silk organza “feathers” were added to once again reflect Slim Shadey’s racing silks.
A black satin sash encircles the crown of the hat…
And a black pebble button edged in gold adorns the sash in the back.
The lining for the “Slim Shadey” hat was created from a soft pink satin to coordinate with the floral trim.
The hat is stunning from every angle and measures approximately 19 inches end to end!
As a physical remembrance of Slim Shadey, several strands of his tail hair were braided and woven into the trim of the hat, creating a unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau that captures Slim not only in spirit but in substance as well.
The hat was completed in early October, and was then shipped to Old Friends for the grand photo shoot with our model, Dagmar Galleithner-Steiner!
And from all that I heard, everyone had a terrific time!
The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Slim Shadey and all of the horses who, thanks to the generosity of those who support their aftercare, now graze in the warm sunshine of Dream Chase Farm for the rest of their lives.
Special thanks to artist Dagmar Galleithner-Steiner for being our wonderful model and to Old Friends volunteer and photographer Laura Battles who has thrilled us all with her stunning images!
The “Slim Shadey” auction hat is now up for bid on EBay and all the proceeds go to the retired racehorses of Old Friends. Bidding ends April 11th at 8 PM EST.
Please also enjoy this slideshow of the “Slim Shadey” chapeau and the amazing horse who inspired it.
To learn more about the life, career and retirement of Slim Shadey, please visit the Slim Shadey horse webpage.
For more information about the “Slim Shadey” Chapeau please visit the Slim Shadey hat webpage.
Finally, we’d like to send a great big thank you to all of the “Friends of Old Friends” who are participating and sharing the word about “Hats Off to the Horses” this season through a very special social media campaign.
Thank you for visiting Hats and Horses, and for supporting our “Hats Off to the Horses” fundraiser this year!