Current Auction Hat
“Ring Weekend” Hat
For the thirteenth 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 on 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 third hat up for bid in our 2022 “Hats Off to the Horses” auction series for Old Friends honors Ring Weekend. Named by West Point Thoroughbred owners after the long-standing tradition of awarding class rings to all West Point Academy seniors, the Graham Motion trained colt achieved multiple graded stakes wins in 33 starts. Following his retirement from the track in 2018, Ring Weekend was put in training with Olympic Gold Medalist Philip Dutton as an eventer. An injury ended this second career for Ring Weekend and he was retired to Old Friends in June 2021 courtesy of West Point Thoroughbreds and the Dutton family.
The “Ring Weekend” chapeau is up for bid from March 1st through the 11th. All proceeds from the sale go to Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement.
Indeed, a very special chapeau was needed to honor this beloved Thoroughbred athlete and to celebrate his retirement at Old Friends.
When I asked Michael Blowen, Founder and President of Old Friends his impressions of “Ring” he stated, "When Ring Weekend won the Bernard Baruch in 2016 at Saratoga in track record time, he stole my heart and enriched my bank account. Yet, both pale in comparison to how much I fell in love with this majestic chestnut when he arrived at Old Friends. At last year's Belmont Stakes, I was waiting in the valet parking line with Graham and Anita Motion when he said they were retiring Ring Weekend after he finished his second career as a possible Olympic candidate. I was thrilled. Now, his classy personality is symbolized by the remarkably detailed artistry of Sally Steinmann. As you can see for yourself.”
A wide-brimmed Derby hat design was created using a unique blend of colors, shades and textures that showcases Ring Weekend's chestnut coat and his West Point Thoroughbred racing silk colors of black and yellow.
The foundation for the “Ring” design was fashioned out of a black scroll tapestry. A black dupioni silk underbrim creates a luxurious effect when the wearer's face is upturned.
The edge of the brim was trimmed with ruffled black silk organza layers and accented with fancy black braiding, handstitched into place.
An innovative lavish floral trim design, inspired by Ring Weekend was handcrafted as a kind of “blanket of flowers” to cover the entire front of the hat.
Sixteen Marguerite flowers of various sizes form the central element of the design.
Each individual flower was created with a chocolate chiffon rose curl center surrounded by five yellow organza petals topstitched in chocolate thread.
The Marguerites were then stitched end to end to a black silk fabric “vine”, the larger ones in the center, to form a kind of flower garland that extends from one side of the hat to the other.
Black silk organza “feathers” topstitched with chocolate thread were handcrafted, shaped and stitched into place across this floral blanket for one last dramatic accent.
Finally, a chocolate shantung satin sash was sewn to encircle the crown of the hat...
And a black button surrounded by a gold leaf design to represent the West Point ring tradition for which the colt was named adorns the sash in the back.
The lining for the “Ring Weekend” hat was created from to coordinate with the entire chapeau design.
The hat is stunning from every angle and measures approximately 25 inches end to end!
As a physical remembrance of Ring Weekend, 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 Ring Weekend not only in spirit but in substance as well.
The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Ring Weekend 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, Ring Weekend!
To read more about Ring Weekend, 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.