Hats Off to Alphabet Soup of Old Friends!

The 2017 “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” for Old Friends is now underway with our first hat of the season, the “Alphabet Soup”!

alphabetsoup-equisportphotos-3-web-medIf you would like to bid on the “Alphabet Soup” chapeau please place your bid at this link on EBay.

Bidding ends Wednesday, January 11th at 8 PM EST.

To learn more about Alphabet Soup, the horse, please visit the AlphabetSoupwebpage. For more information about the “Alphabet Soup” Chapeau please visit the Alphabet Soup hat webpage.

Thank you for supporting Old Friends!

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Help Us Ring in the New Year for Old Friends

I can’t think of a better way to begin the New Year…

hatsoff-alphabetsoup-january2016-comingsoonThan by bidding on a one of a kind couture chapeau that supports the retired racehorses of Old Friends in KY!

alphabetsouphat-15-web-medThis special hat was created by custom milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® for the “Hats Off to the Horses” fundraiser to honor 1996 Breeders’ Cup champ, Alphabet Soup. Best of all, 100% of the proceeds go straight to Old Friends.

So mark it on your calendars and tell all your friends who are looking for the perfect Derby hat that the bidding starts January 1st at 8 PM EST.

For more information and to learn more about the first hat please visit the Alphabet Soup Hat webpage.

And help us start the New Year off on the right hoof for the amazing horses of Old Friends!  😉

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HATS OFF TO THE HORSES presents “Friends of Old Friends”

For the eighth consecutive year, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® of Cape Cod and Old Friends of Kentucky are teaming up again for their “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” hat auction, an unparalleled online shopping experience that begins January 1st, 2017.

Here are some of the highlights from last year’s fundraiser that honored Old Friends retirees Silver Charm, Genuine Reward, Amazombie, Mixed Pleasure, Yankee Fourtune, and War Emblem.

oldfriends-hatsoff-year7highlights-web-medSince Michael Blowen first founded Dream Chase Farm in 2003, Old Friends has made a lot of wonderful friends. Old Friends is well known in racing circles for the exceptional, dignified retirements that they give racehorses whose racing and breeding days are over.

oldfriends17-web-medI first approached Michael back in 2009 about my fundraising idea for creating and auctioning Derby hats to honor some of the amazing Old Friends retirees. I thought “Hats Off to the Horses” would be the perfect name for the fundraiser. Michael liked the idea and the name. After all, it’s the horses who are the ones we all need to be tipping our “hats” to as we creatively find ways to make sure they will always have a good home after their racing and breeding careers are over.

WarEmblem-HatsOfftotheHorsesofOldFriends-DailyRacingFunnies-Blog
Created especially for the War Emblem hat auction of “Hats Off to the Horses” – by The Daily Racing Funnies

This season, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® reached out to some of the friends of Old Friends to ask them for their support in helping to spread the word about “Hats Off to the Horses” this year.

Invitations were sent to a number of Thoroughbred horse farms and racing organizations across the country to join us in this new social media campaign.

For all those who decided to join us as a “Friend of Old Friends” we have added their business logos to our auction publicity which will showcase their support. In turn, during each of our four “Hats Off” auction months (January through April) all of the “Friends” will join with us in sharing the auction through their own social media channels.

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We are hoping that this new social media participation will expand our audience for “Hats Off to the Horses” as well as generate greater concern for all horses everywhere.

Please join me in thanking the following organizations that have joined us whom we are thrilled to welcome as “Friends of Old Friends”!

oldfriends-hatsoff-fof-2048x1499-200res-alphabetsoup-horizontal-final2-web-medThank you “Friends of Old Friends”, one and ALL!

Bidding is now underway on EBay for our first auction hat of the season, the “Alphabet Soup” chapeau. Click HERE to bid, and thank you for your support for Old Friends!

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The Daily Topper from MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® – June 7, 2016

Welcome to The Daily Topper with MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®!

Today we are showcasing the second of our “Hats Off to the Horses” chapeaux making their debuts in the Big Apple for the 148th Belmont Stakes! The “War Emblem” chapeau was this year’s April auction with all of the proceeds going to the retired racehorses of Old Friends.

TheDailyTopper-June7-2016-BlogThis one of a kind Derby hat was created to honor a beloved retiree of Old Friends – Kentucky-bred 2002 Derby and Preakness winner, War Emblem, who recently retired to Old Friends.  ❤

WarEmblem-LauraBattles30-Framed-MedThe winning bidder of the “War Emblem” was Leigh McKathan of McKathan Brothers Training Center in Ocala, FL, wonderful supporters of our “Hats Off” campaign for Old Friends!

Blog-LeighMcKathan6-PendArmistead-Derby2015We’ll be posting photos here on Belmont Stakes Day so stay tuned!  😉

Thank you for visiting me here for The Daily Topper at Hats and Horses!

Sally

The Daily Topper from MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® – June 6, 2016

Welcome to The Daily Topper with MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®!

Such an exciting week with TWO of our “Hats Off to the Horses” of Old Friends chapeaux making their debuts in the Big Apple for the 148th Belmont Stakes! Today’s “Topper” showcases the “Genuine Reward” chapeau from this year’s March auction with all the proceeds going to the retired racehorses of Old Friends.

TheDailyTopper-June6-2016-BlogThis one of a kind Derby hat was created to honor a beloved retiree of Old Friends and the son of 199 Derby winner, Genuine Risk named Genuine Reward.  ❤

GenuineReward-LauraBattles22-Framed-MedThe winning bidder of the “Genuine Reward” was Kristy Deyeso of New York, NY. I can’t wait to spot her and John who are wonderful supporters of our “Hats Off” campaign for Old Friends!

Kristy Deyeso in her "Kristy" Oaks hat by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®
Kristy Deyeso in her “Kristy” Oaks hat by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®

We’ll be posting photos here on Belmont Stakes Day so stay tuned!  😉

Thank you for visiting me here for The Daily Topper at Hats and Horses!

Sally

The Daily Topper from MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® – June 4, 2016

Welcome to The Daily Topper with MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®!

Our featured hat today is the “Williamstown”, a hat I created during our Season 8 “Hats Off to the Horses” fundraiser for Old Friends. Named for KY-bred multiple stakes-winning stallion and son of the great Seattle Slew. Can hardly wait for Season 8!

TheDailyTopper-June4-2016-BlogBlog-Williamstown11-MattWendyWooleyI’d wanted to create a hat to honor this beautiful retiree of Old friends for years!

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Thank you for visiting me here for The Daily Topper at Hats and Horses!

Sally

War Emblem Honored in “Hats Off” Derby Hat Fundraiser

Creating a hat to honor a living Thoroughbred athlete is not as easy as it may sound. Yet for six months out of the year this is my challenge and privilege as I create chapeaux to honor six amazing horses of Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement in Kentucky during our “Hats Off to the Horses” Derby hat fundraiser.

WarEmblem-HatProcess14-BlogFrom the outset I study photographs and race videos, and most especially ask those at Old Friends who care for the horses every day what makes each one special. As I work I don’t see just hats; I see Mixed Pleasure, Genuine Reward, Yankee Fourtune, Amazombie and Silver Charm.

Over time their spirits, their magnificent athletic beauty and their inspiring personal stories get stitched, layered and woven into each and every hat.

And now, this month, I see War Emblem.

WarEmblem-HatsOfftotheHorses-BlogPoster-BlogI was over the moon when I heard that I would be creating a hat to honor this nearly black 2002 Derby and Preakness winner with such a strong physique and keen mind.

WarEmblem-MattWooley1-Web.MedWar Emblem was retired from stud duty in Japan in 2015 and arrived at Dream Chase Farm in September 2015 thanks to the Yoshida family, the staff of Shadai Stallion Station, Emanuel de Seroux and the many supporters who generously enabled his retirement.

WarEmblem-LauraBattles31-Framed-MedI asked Beth Shannon, volunteer at Old Friends, her impression of War Emblem and she responded, “War Emblem is smart, proud, and fiercely independent. He’s extremely interested in all that goes on around him and everyone who’s in his immediate world. You can see him constantly watching and learning.”

WarEmblem-RickCapone7-Framed-MedAnd she added, “His other striking quality, besides his spirit, is his athleticism. He keeps himself fit-he’s ruggedly gorgeous-and he glories in his speed at 17 as he did at 3.”

WarEmblem-LauraBattles1-Framed-MedMy research began with War Emblem’s racing bio, his pedigree and videos of his wins on the track.

WarEmblem-HatProcess1-BlogClearly a very special hat was needed to showcase War Emblem’s stunning nearly black coat, his familiar racing silk colors of green and white, and his proud spirit and athleticism.

Sketches were drawn, swatches collected and the creative process was underway!

WarEmblem-HatProcess2-BlogThe foundation of the “War Emblem” hat was fashioned as a wide brim design in black dupioni silk. A white brocade underbrim, edged with black taffeta, was added that frames the face beautifully when the wearer’s face is upturned.

WarEmblem-HatProcess3-BlogWarEmblem-HatProcess4-BlogThe edge of the brim was trimmed with a unique ruffled brim edge which allows light to pass through the sheer fabric. Created out of black silk organza overlaid with black silk “pinstripes”, the resulting look is one of smooth elegance befitting this great Thoroughbred athlete.

WarEmblem-HatProcess5-BlogWarEmblem-Hat15-Web.MedAs a reflection of his 2002 Triple Crown campaign, three large rose curls created out of alternating layers of white dupioni silk and silk organza with just a splash of soft yellow organza for the centers, were placed along the front crown of the hat.

WarEmblem-HatProcess6-BlogEach rose was then framed with a medley of leaves that I fashioned out of layered emerald green and bold blue silk organza.

WarEmblem-HatProcess8-BlogShimmering black tulle was layered around the crown to provide a setting for the roses that is wispy and elegant as well as a reflection of War Emblem’s nearly black coat.

WarEmblem-HatProcess9-BlogA layered sash, created out of folded black satin with an emerald green dupioni silk lining, was hand stitched around the crown of the hat.

For the finishing touch, a large black pebble button was set to adorn the back of the hat.

WarEmblem-HatProcess10-BlogFinally, the lining was created from a bold emerald green satin to coordinate with the trims.

WarEmblem-Hat18-Web.MedThe finished “War Emblem” hat design measures over 30 inches across inclusive of the pleated organza brim layer.

Once the bidding ends and it is time to ship the hat to the winner, several strands of his tail hair will be braided and woven into the trim of the hat, creating a unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau that captures War Emblem 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 and a quick photo session…

WarEmblem-HatProcess11-BlogThe “War Emblem” chapeau was prepped, packaged with care…

WarEmblem-HatProcess13-BlogAnd sent to Old Friends for the big photo shoot with Shea and Julien Leparoux!

WarEmblem-Shea-Julien-Leparoux2-MattWooley-Crop-Web.MedWe were pleased to have Shea Leparoux once again modeling for us, this time donning the “War Emblem” hat at Old Friends alongside her husband, jockey Julien Leparoux.

WarEmblem-Shea-Julien-Leparoux1-MattWooley-Crop-Web.Med

For a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the War Emblem 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 dress that Bella Rose Clothing Boutique, Lexington, Kentucky furnished for Shea matched the “War Emblem” hat beautifully. Our thanks to everyone!

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

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

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

Thank you for visiting Hats and Horses, and Hats Off to War Emblem!!

Sally