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The “Popcorn Deelites” Hat
For the fourth consecutive year, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® and Old Friends are teaming up for an unparalleled online shopping experience: "Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby". This unique Derby hat fundraiser features one-of-a-kind couture Derby hats created by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit the retired racehorses of 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.
The fourth hat up for bid in February honors Kentucky-bred Popcorn Deelites, a low-level claimer who achieved celebrity status when he landed the role of the great racehorse Seabiscuit in the Oscar-nominated 2003 movie, “Seabiscuit.” Cape Cod milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® has created this stunning one-of-a-kind couture Derby hat to honor this blood bay son of Afternoon Deelites who arrived at Old Friends in 2005 thanks to the help of owner David Hoffmans of Henderson, NV, and his Phoenix-based trainer Priscilla Leon.
The "Popcorn Deelites" Hat
To read about this magnificent Thoroughbred athlete, please click on the photos of Popcorn Deelites courtesy of Rick Capone.
Perhaps the most memorable scene in the “Seabiscuit” movie is the 1938 match race between Seabiscuit and Triple Crown winner, War Admiral. Popcorn Deelites played the part of Seabiscuit in the race in the movie and as anyone will tell you who has seen it, the scene brings a tear to the eye as the underdog Seabiscuit streaks to the lead and defeats War Admiral decisively. To honor Popcorn Deelites with a chapeau befitting a horse with that kind of star power, a dramatic chapeau was created with a unique blend of colors, tones and textures that showcases the horse's blood bay coloring and the Seabiscuit (Charles C. Howard) racing silk colors of red and white.
From all of the stories that I have heard, Popcorn Deelites is quite the playful character. On a daily basis he and his pasture mate, multiple Grade 1 winner, Special Ring, entertain visitors at Old Friends with their antics. Special Ring, though, refuses to be upstaged by his movie star pal and he frequently lifts his upper lip into a grin that shows his teeth and gums to the delight of all those who are watching including Popcorn Deelites.
To create a hat for Popcorn Deelites that reflected his movie star status as well as his playful side, a hat foundation was created using a white-on-black polka dot cotton with a bold red silk underbrim. The finished design measures nearly 18 inches, end to end.
The distinctive deep red and white racing silks of Charles C. Howard's racing stable provide the basic color palette for the trimmings of this stunning Derby hat. I was told that one of Popcorn Deelites' nicknames is “Poppy” which offered the perfect floral imagery for the trim centerpiece.
A single large poppy was created out of two layers of red silk organza “flower petals” to achieve a dramatic three-dimensional effect. A dark black satin rose curl was fashioned for the center of the flower and accented with a black sparkle button and a bit of black netting.
This red poppy centerpiece is framed with black silk organza leaves; layers of alternating brown and black tulle frame the poppy centerpiece and are meant to symbolize Popcorn Deelite's blood bay coloring and flowing black mane and tail.
A sash was created out of a rich scarlett red taffeta, gently gathered at the back seam...
A single shiny black button accents the back seam for the finishing touch.
As a physical remembrance of Popcorn Deelites, several strands of the great gelding's tail hairs were braided and woven into the trim of the hat itself, creating a unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau that captures Popcorn Deelites not only in spirit but in substance as well.
The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Popcorn Deelites 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.
”We ask of the thoroughbreds, and they give, they serve us with dignity and satisfy our needs to compete - we owe it to them to provide the retirement they so justly have earned.” - Fred Stone
Hats Off to Popcorn Deelites!
The “Popcorn Deelites” is the fourth hat in our “Hats Off to the Horses” Derby hat auction series this season, and it will be up for bid from February 1st through the 11th, 2013. At the end of the month, the winning bidder's name will be announced (unless they prefer to remain anonymous).
To read more about Popcorn Deelites, 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.