Current Auction Hat
For the eleventh 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 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 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 2020 Hats Off to the Horses auction series for Old Friends honors Einstein, the Brazilian-bred son of Spend a Buck with Grade 1 and 2 stakes wins on turf, dirt and artificial surfaces over distances of 1 1/8 miles to more than a mile and a half, from ages three through seven. Einstein was pensioned from stud duty at The Stronach Group’s Adena Springs in March of 2019 and retired by owner Frank Stronach to Old Friends.
The “Einstein” chapeau is up for bid from January 1st through the 11th. All proceeds from the sale go to Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement.
In a March 11, 2019 article in Thoroughbred Daily News the President of Old Friends Michael Blowen stated, "We’re extremely grateful to The Stronach Group for allowing us to care for Einstein, and for supporting him with a significant annual contribution. Einstein has a lot of fans and I’m sure they’ll be flocking to visit him.”
John Bradley, a volunteer at Old Friends described Einstein in this way: "I guess I could explain why he’s my favorite racehorse ever. He always tried hard and even in defeat he gave his best. Not all horses have that competitive nature to try hard even when they know they aren’t going to win. Ten years later he’s retired to Old Friends and has really settled in well. He knows what he wants and how to get it. He sees many, many tourists and he really leaves quite an impression."
Michael echoed John's praise of Einstein with the words, "Einstein is tall, dark and handsome. It doesn't take a genius to appreciate Einstein."
To honor this new Old Friends retiree, the distinctive red, black and gold racing silks of owner Stronach Stables racing stable provided the primary color inspiration for the trimmings of this stunning Derby hat and are the recurring theme throughout the design.
A large hat foundation was created using a base layer of red dupioni silk overlaid with a swirling black paisley lace.
A red silk underbrim creates a bold, elegant effect when the wearer's face is upturned.
The edge of the brim was trimmed with a double layer of black silk organza ruffles which allow the light to pass through the sheer fabric.
To showcase Stronach's stable colors, a large red silk organza Marguerite fleur with a red dupioni rose curl center adorns the front of the hat. A black button with gold edging was added for a final accent.
This floral centerpiece is framed with bow loops created out of gold silk organza.
For a final touch, black silk organza leaves and three black silk organza “feathers” were added to reflect Einstein's bay coloring.
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 hat is stunning from every angle and measures approximately 21 inches end to end including the black silk organza ruffle!
The lining for the “Einstein” hat was created from a bold red satin to coordinate with the Marguerite floral trim.
As a physical remembrance of Einstein, 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 Einstein not only in spirit but in substance as well.
The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Einstein 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, Einstein!
~ Einstein with John Bradley
To read more about Einstein, 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.