Current Auction Hat
For the eighth consecutive year, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® of Cape Cod and Old Friends of Kentucky are teaming up again for an unparalleled online shopping experience that began January 1st with their "Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby" auction. This unique Derby hat fundraiser is an annual event which features one-of-a-kind couture Derby hats created and donated by Sally Faith Steinmann of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit the retired racehorses of Old Friends.
The fourth and final hat up for bid in our auction series honors Kentucky-bred Danthebluegrassman whose major wins included the 2002 Gold Rush Stakes and the Golden Gate Derby. Although he qualified for the 2002 Kentucky Derby and his name was in the program, Danthebluegrassman was injured before the race and did not start in the Run for the Roses that was won that year by War Emblem. In 2008 the chestnut son of Pioneering (a son of Mr. Prospector and Secretariat’s daughter, Terlingua) was retired to Old Friends in Kentucky thanks to the efforts of Jim Ponte and Tim Ford. Dan was honored at the Old Friends 2008 Homecoming by the Gallatin County Youth Bluegrass Band who performed their song,“The Ballad of Danthebluegrassman”, in his honor.
The “Danthebluegrassman” chapeau is up for bid from April 1st through the 11th.
For our final hat of the auction we were fortunate to have two of our models, Krystal Court and Shelby Landeros join us for the photo shoot with Danthebluegrassman, showing his hat to full advantage. What a lucky horse!
In an April 20, 2008 Bloodhorse article by Claire Novak, President and Director of Old Friends, Michael Blowen, described the arrival of Danthebluegrassman to Old Friends in this way: “He walked off the truck like a puppy dog. We led him into a stall and gave him a couple of carrots, and he’s just the sweetest horse with lovely brown eyes... He’s going to be huge for us, and we’re very excited to have him here.”
When I asked Beth Shannon, volunteer at Old Friends, her impression of Danthebluegrassman, she responded, “Dan is our resident Lovable Oaf. He's really big, fully 17 hands, and really big boned. He's bossy to his paddock mates, though not mean. Dan doesn't have much in the way of manners with visitors, but he's not unbiddable. He's kind natured, just...well, a lovable oaf.”
Clearly, a very special hat was needed to honor this charming retiree of Old Friends. The resulting hat design showcases Danthebluegrassman's stunning chestnut coat, his familiar Pegram racing silk colors of bold red and yellow, and his proud spirit and athleticism.
The foundation of the wide brim design was created out of champagne dupioni silk.
To honor Dan's extraordinary achievement in qualifying for the 2002 Kentucky Derby, a single large red Derby rose was placed along the front crown of the hat.
The rose was fashioned out of alternating layers of red dupioni silk and silk organza.
It was then framed with a medley of deep yellow organza leaves that were topstitched in red for added detailing.
Large red silk organza “bow loops” and a layer of soft mocha veiling were added to provide a colorful backdrop for the rose and leaves.
Five chocolate brown organza “feathers”, a MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® trademark, were added to the rose curl centerpiece for a final, playful trim accent.
Yards of shimmering, wispy red tulle were then gathered and layered around the crown to provide an elegant “nest” for the rose.
A layered sash, created out of deep yellow dupioni silk with a red dupioni silk lining, encircles the crown of the hat.
For the finishing touch, a large shimmering espresso button was added to the back of the hat as a reflection of Dan's beautiful brown eyes.
The “Danthebluegrassman” hat is stunning from every angle with no details left untouched. The lining was created from a yellow taffeta to coordinate with the trims.
The finished “Danthebluegrassman” hat design measures over 20 inches across, inclusive of the tulle layers.
As a physical remembrance of Danthebluegrassman, 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 Danthebluegrassman not only in spirit but in substance as well.
The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Danthebluegrassman 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.
"Sally Faith Steinmann's works of millinery art have raised thousands of dollars and a priceless amount of awareness for all these great retired athletes. Their stunning beauty and indescribable originality symbolize what one great artist can do to positively alter the lives of so many deserving athletes." - Michael Blowen, President and founder of Old Friends
Hats Off to you, Danthebluegrassman!
To read more about Danthebluegrassman, the horse, please click on the following link - Featured Horse.
Bid as many times and on as many hats as you like during this running auction. For further information about the eBay bidding process, please contact Old Friends at 502-863-1775. If you don't desire to place a bid on a hat, please contact Old Friends to see about what other ways you might be able to help out at Dream Chase Farm.
Freight charges will be at the expense of the winning bidder. Winning bidders, please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery of your hat in order to ensure proper sizing.
To view the couture Derby hats from previous auctions, please click on the following - Old Friends Hat Auction Portfolio.