Current Auction Hat
“King Congie” Hat
For the tenth consecutive year, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® of Cape Cod and Old Friends of Kentucky are teaming up again for an unparalleled online shopping experience that begins January 2nd 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 couture milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit the retired racehorses of Old Friends.
The first hat up for bid in our annual 2019 Hats Off to the Horses auction series for Old Friends honors King Congie, a retiree at Old Friends’ satellite farm in New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division. Named for the beloved West Point employee, Congie DeVito, King Congie was owned and raced by West Point Thoroughbreds, winning 2 of 11 starts including the 2011 Tropical Park Derby. He was retired in April 2012 after a career-ending leg injury. Sadly just four years later the 8-year old gelding was discovered and rescued from an auction house in New York in 2016 by Rosemary Farm Sanctuary of the Catskills. West Point Thoroughbreds officially adopted King Congie and retired him to his safe, forever home at Old Friends at Cabin Creek in Greenfield Center, NY.
The “King Congie” chapeau is up for bid from January 2nd through the 12th. All proceeds from the sale of the hats go to Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement.
The “King Congie” hat auction marks the third time we are presenting a hat created to honor one of the Thoroughbred retirees of Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division. Named for the late Hall of Fame trainer, Bobby Frankel, Old Friends of Cabin Creek is located in Greenfield, New York. The farm is home to 14 retired racehorses under the care of JoAnn Pepper and her husband, Mark, along with the help of over a dozen devoted volunteers.
When I asked JoAnn Pepper her impression of King Congie she responded, "King Congie is amazing, very full of life. He seems to love all his brothers as he looks at them with meaningful eyes. He loves to gallop a bit everyday. He also loves to sleep in his hay and snore. I think he is happy to be alive and seems to know he almost wasn’t. He is very loved!"
Clearly, a very special hat was needed to honor this friendly, popular retiree of Old Friends. The resulting hat design showcases Congie's stunning dark bay coat, his West Point Thoroughbred racing silks of yellow and black, and his proud, friendly spirit.
The foundation of the “King Congie” hat was fashioned as a wide brim design created out of black dupioni silk.
A bold yellow dupioni silk underbrim creates a vibrant, colorful effect when the wearer's face is upturned.
The edge of the brim was trimmed with a multi-layered organza brim edge which allows light to pass through the sheer fabric.
Using yards of black silk organza, these wavy brim layers were topstitched with chocolate embroidered strands to reflect the movement of the Thoroughbred athlete at full gallop. A thin strip of fancy black braiding was then top stitched to the ruffled brim edges to give it a finished look.
For the trim centerpiece a large rose was sculpted out of alternating layers of yellow dupioni silk and chocolate organza as a tribute to Rosemary Farm Sanctuary for saving King Congie's life in his 2016 rescue from the auction pen.
This floral centerpiece was then beautifully framed with a medley of chocolate embroidered organza leaves, individually wired and shaped.
Three medium fabric “feathers”, a MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® trademark, were then carefully stitched out of black silk organza, layered and shaped to add a splash of dramatic detail to the floral trim.
As you can see, the hat is stunning from any angle!
A sash was then created out of folded layers of chocolate satin with a yellow dupioni silk lining to encircle the crown of the hat.
For the finishing touch, a shimmering black and chocolate button was stitched to adorn the back of the hat.
The lining for the “King Congie” hat, created from a silvery grey silk to reflect Congie's lineage (Silver Deputy, Silveroo, Silver Valley, Silver Hawk), also reflects the Silver Lining Congie found the day he retired to Old Friends at Cabin Creek.
The finished “King Congie” hat design measures approximately 24 inches across, end to end.
As a physical remembrance of King Congie, 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 King Congie not only in spirit but in substance as well.
The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of King Congie and all of the horses who, thanks to the generosity of those who support their aftercare, now graze in the warm sunshine of Old Friends at Cabin Creek 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, King Congie!
To read more about King Congie, 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.