“Little Mike” Hat Auction for Old Friends Ends Tonight!

The 8th season of “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” for Old Friends is well underway with our February hat, the “Little Mike”!

littlemike-equisportphotos-3crop-web-medIf you would like to bid on the “Little Mike” chapeau please place your bid at this link on EBay.

Bidding ends TONIGHT, February 11th at 8 PM EST.

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

Thank you for supporting Old Friends!

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The Crafting of the “Little Mike” Chapeau for Old Friends

For the eighth consecutive year, Old Friends and MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® are teaming up for our “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” hat auction series that benefits the retired racehorses of Dream Chase Farm.

This month we are featuring the “Little Mike” chapeau. This one-of-a-kind couture Derby hat created by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® honors 2012 Breeders Cup Turf and Arlington Million winner, Little Mike, who retired to Old Friends in 2016.

littlemike-hat-a-web-med
littlemike-equisportphotos-3crop-web-med Jockey Chris Landeros and his wife Shelby modeling the “Little Mike” hat at Old Friends.[/caption]

Named after owner Carlo Vaccarezza’s son, Little Mike was sired by Spanish Steps out of the mare Hay June whom Vaccarezza had rescued from the kill pen. To learn more about this great Florida-bred gelding who was bred by  Carlo Vaccarezza, owned by his wife Priscilla and trained for most of his career by Dale Romans, please visit the Little Mike webpage.

littlemike-laurabattles-10-framed-web-medWhen I asked Beth Shannon, volunteer at Old Friends, her impression of Little Mike she responded, “Little Mike is also an exceptionally kind horse. It took him all of fifteen minutes to figure out exactly what tours were all about. He gets along as easily with his new paddock mate Interwin as he does with people. His color isn’t flashy. He’s just a medium bay horse. But he’s got the look of the athlete he is. Of course, he was by far the best longer distance turf male in America in 2012, the year he won the Arlington Million and Breeders’ Cup Turf.”

littlemike-laurabattles-1-framed-web-medAnd she added, “ The only thing Little Mike isn’t, is little. He’s good sized and nicely proportioned. What’s not to love about such a sweet horse?”

littlemike-laurabattles-8-framed-web-medClearly, a very special hat was needed to honor this new retiree of Old Friends. The resulting hat design showcases Little Mike’s stunning bay coat, his familiar racing silk colors of black with orange stripes, and his kind spirit and athleticism.

To begin the design process I went online and watched videos of Little Mike’s wins on the track, and soon I had the background information that I needed.

littlemike-hat-process1-web-medNext, a sketch of the hat was made, fabrics were chosen and the creative process was underway!

littlemike-hat-process2-web-medThe foundation of the “Little Mike” hat was fashioned as a flat oval brim design created out of black dupioni silk.

littlemike-hat-f-web-medThe edge of the brim was trimmed with a unique ruffled brim edge which allows light to pass through the sheer fabric. Created out of a single layer of black silk organza, the resulting look is one of smooth elegance befitting this great Thoroughbred athlete.

littlemike-hat-process3-web-medAs a finishing touch, a fancy braiding of warm mocha chocolate was top stitched where the silk and organza layers meet the brim edge.

littlemike-hat-process4-web-medCarlo Vaccarezza’s distinctive black with orange stripe racing silks provided the basic color palette for the trimmings of this stunning Derby hat.

The centerpiece is comprised of a single medium rose curl created in swirling layers of coral orange shantung and organza. A shimmering espresso button accents the center, a clear reflection of Little Mike’s soft brown eyes.

littlemike-hat-process5-web-medThe rose was beautifully framed with a medley of leaves fashioned out of black silk organza.

littlemike-hat-process6-web-medMocha brown hat veiling was set behind the rose curl and leaves to offer a contrasting flourish with a touch of wispy elegance.

Ten slender black, chocolate brown and chocolate brown silk organza “feathers” were then gracefully shaped to help balance the trim design.

littlemike-hat-process7-web-medA layered sash, created out of black satin lined with coral orange shantung, was created to encircle the crown of the hat.

littlemike-hat-process8-web-medFor the finishing touch, a large black pebble button was hand stitched to the back of the hat.

littlemike-hat-process9-web-medFinally, the lining was created from a swirling black brocade to coordinate with the trims.

littlemike-hat-process10-web-medThe finished “Little Mike” hat design measures over 24 inches across inclusive of the ruffled organza brim layer.

As a physical remembrance of Little Mike, 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 Little Mike not only in spirit but in substance as well.

littlemike-hat-process12-blogThe purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Alphabet Soup 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.

littlemike-laurabattles-11-framed-medSoon the hat was on its way to Old Friends for the grand photo shoot with our models. And from all that I have heard,  they had one heck of a good time!

littlemike-equisportphotos-2crop-web-medFor a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the photo shoot, please visit the video footage provided by EquiSport Photos.

We want to extend a big thank you to jockey Chris Landeros and his lovely wife, Shelby, who were splendid models for the “Little Mike” chapeau as well as to Matt and Wendy Wooley of EquiSport Photos who worked their photographic magic once again. The dress that Bella Rose Clothing Boutique, Lexington, Kentucky furnished for Shelby matched the chapeau beautifully. Our thanks to all of you!

The “Little Mike” auction hat is now up for bid on EBay and bidding ends February 11th at 8 PM EST.

Please also enjoy this slideshow of the “Little Mike” chapeau and the horse who inspired it. For more information about the “Little Mike” Chapeau please visit the Little Mike hat webpage. To read more about Little Mike, the horse, please visit the Little Mike webpage.

 

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We’d also like to mention an exciting new social media campaign that we are introducing for Season 8 called, “Friends of Old Friends”.

A number of Thoroughbred horse farms and racing organizations across the country were invited to join in the effort by helping us share the Hats Off auction publicity through their own social media channels. We hope that these wonderful Friends of Old Friends will enable us to expand the audience for “Hats Off to the Horses” as well as to generate greater concern for all horses everywhere.

The following is our “Friends of Old Friends” poster for sharing our second auction hat, inspired by  Little Mike.

We extend a big thank you to all of the Friends of Old Friends that are participating and sharing the word about Hats Off to the Horses!

oldfriends-friendsofoldfriends-february2017-littlemikeposter2-web-medThank you for visiting Hats and Horses, and here’s to our best auction season yet!

Sally

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Hats Off to Little Mike of Old Friends!

The 2017 “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” for Old Friends is well underway with our second hat of the season, the “Little Mike”!

littlemike-equisportphotos-3crop-web-medIf you would like to bid on the “Little Mike” chapeau please place your bid at this link on EBay.

Bidding ends Saturday, February 11th at 8 PM EST.

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

Thank you for supporting 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 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

 

 

MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® Derby Hat Countdown 2016 – 27 of 101

Welcome to the Derby Hat Countdown with MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®!

Today I am featuring Hat #27, the “War Emblem” chapeau that is currently up for bid on EBay in our “Hats Off to the Horses” auction to benefit the retired racehorses of Old Friends.

DerbyHatCountdown-2016-27Days-BlogFor more information about the “War Emblem” hat please visit the the War Emblem auction hat webpage or go directly to EBay and place your bid!

Today’s Derby Trivia Question today –

“Name the Hall of Fame jockey who has been to the the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle three times, 1998, 2000 and 2008.”

The answer can be found at the following link – Derby Hats where you can also visit all four of our Derby hat salons for a wide selection of Derby hat offerings for the Kentucky Oaks and the Derby!

Only 26 Derby chapeaux and 26 days to go ’til the 142nd Kentucky Derby!

Sally