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The “Ogygian” Hat
For the second consecutive year, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® and Old Friends teamed up for an unparalleled online shopping experience: "Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby". This unique Derby hat fundraiser featured one-of-a-kind couture Derby hats created by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit Old Friends. To learn more about Old Friends at Dream Chase Farm and bid on the hats, please visit the Old Friends website, or call them at 502-863-1775.
For the fifth hat auction of this year's series, milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® created this stunning one-of-a-kind couture Derby hat in honor of Ogygian, one of the most beloved retirees at Old Friends of Kentucky.
The last surviving son of the 1967 Horse of the Year, Damascus, Ogygian was named after the remote island, Ogygos, where according to Greek legend Odysseus lived for many years with the Goddess Calypso (as recounted in Homer's Odyssey). This muscular dark bay was unbeaten as a 2-year-old including an amazing 9 and 1/2 length victory in the 1985 Belmont Futurity; a shin injury ended his racing season early that year. At 3, Ogie demolished the competition in the Riva Ridge Stakes and the Dwyer Stakes (G1) and Jerome Handicap (G1), however bone chip surgery prevented him from making it to the Triple Crown trail. Ogygian was described by Steven Crist in a May 1987 NYT article as "the swift but star-crossed son of Damascus who ... was officially retired from racing yesterday because of chronic ankle injuries." The sentiments of so many were captured with the words of Tartan Farms' John Nerud, "It's a disappointment because we'll never know how good he really was." Ogygian stood at Claiborne Farms for nearly 8 years, siring 23 stakes winners and 11 graded stakes winners before being shipped to Japan. In 2005, arrangements were made to bring this magnificent stallion from Japan to Old Friends through an associate at Narvick International, Megumi Igarashi. “He is hanging the charm against evil from his bridle,” Miss Igarashi told Old Friends. “It’s violet, the holy color of Buddhism. Someone gave it to him a long time ago.”
Luck certainly was following Ogygian who came home safely to Old friends in August of 2005 where he is lovingly known by everyone as "Ogy".
To read more about this magnificent stallion, please click on the photo of Ogygian below.
With all this in mind, a playful millinery confection was created in stunning tones and textures honoring the great champion's conformation, the racing colors of his stable and his impressive career as a talented Thoroughbred athlete.
The red and black racing silks of Tartan Farms and Ogygian's rich red bay colors of brown and black are integrated throughout this stunning 22-inch wide chapeau. A lovely red dupioni silk was chosen for the base of the hat. Row upon row of alternating wispy red, chocolate and black tulle layers topped by one gently pleated black silk organza top layer create a layering that reaches several inches beyond the brim's edge. The ruffled black organza pattern was repeated in the underbrim design and makes for a wonderful surprise when the wearer's head is upturned. The overall effect of this edge design is meant to reflect the undulating, rippling motion of the Thoroughbred athlete in full stride.
The "Dozen Roses" design is a classic MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® trademark. Even though Ogy never made it to the Derby it seemed fitting that such a hero of Throughbred royalty should have a hat created for him that was spilling over with red roses to celebrate both his stellar career as well as the upcoming "Run for the Roses". One dozen large hand-rolled red rose curls, created in swirling layers of silk organza, China silk and dupioni silk encircle the crown of the hat. Each rose curl is framed with fabric leaves created in variegated shades of green taffeta and organza. Wispy chocolate tulle sprays accent the roses and add a bit of Derby magic.
An innovative sash and bow design was created for the "Ogygian" hat by taking a rich black dupioni silk and lining it with chocolate organza. This layered fabric design continues in the triple bow set in the back of the hat which forms a "nest" for the last two luscious red silk organza rose curls/leaves medley in this design.
Two other innovations for the "Ogygian" hat were the weaving of a physical remembrance of the horse into the hat and a violet bead cluster reminiscent of the lucky Buddhist charm that safeguarded this stallion safely on his journey to Old Friends in 2005. Several strands of the great stallion's tail hairs were collected and braided, and woven together with three translucent violet beads. This tiny cluster was then stitched into the center of the rose curl, thereby creating a unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau that is Ogygian not only in spirit but in substance as well...
The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Ogygian 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.
Welcome home, Ogygian!
To read more about Ogygian, the horse, please click on the following link - Featured Horse.
This amazing millinery delight was up for bid from March 1st through the 11th, 2011. At the end of the month, the winning bidder's name was announced (unless they prefer to remain anonymous).
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.