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The “Sarava” Hat
For the fourth 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 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 sixth and final hat up for bid in our fundraiser auction series honored Kentucky-bred Sarava, winner of the 2002 Belmont Stakes at odds of 70-1 who thwarted Triple Crown hopeful War Emblem's bid to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. Cape Cod milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® created this stunning one-of-a-kind couture Derby hat to honor this black stallion who arrived at Old Friends in September 2012 thanks to the generous donation of owners Gary Drake of Louisville and Paul and Susan Roy of Great Britain.
The "Sarava" Hat
To read about this magnificent Thoroughbred athlete, please click on the photos of Sarava courtesy of Rick Capone and Matt and Wendy Wooley of Equisport Photos.
The year was 2002, and two black stallions were making a bid to win the Belmont Stakes. War Emblem, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, was poised to make Triple Crown racing history with a win in the Belmont that would end a 24-year Triple Crown drought since Affirmed had won all three races in 1978. Three weeks prior to the Belmont, the other black stallion named Sarava, who had been sidelined from the the Derby due to an inury, ran in the Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard and won a stunning victory. As fate would have it at the start of the Belmont, War Emblem stumbled at the gate and the crowd gave a collective gasp. Although War Emblem recovered and made a valiant run, it was Sarava with Edgar Prado onboard who split horses at the top of the stretch and dueled with the game Medaglia d’Oro neck and neck to the finish. In the end it was Sarava who pulled off the win with a half length victory, etching a place in the Belmont history books as the longest shot ever to win the Tiffany-crafted Belmont Stakes trophy.
Good fortune has followed Sarava, whose name in Bralizian means “good luck”, into retirement at Old Friends where he will spend the rest of his days and be visited by his fans for years to come.
A dramatic chapeau was needed to honor this great champion. A stylish Derby design was created with a unique blend of colors, tones and textures that showcases Sarava's nearly black coloring along with the red roses of the Derby, the white carnations of the Belmont, and the racing silk colors of red and white.
The hat to honor Sarava was begun by designing a foundation using black dupioni silk with a white dupioni silk underbrim that adds a surprising bit of glowing textured magic whenever the wearer's head is tilted up. Next, a brim edge was created using alternating layers of ruffled black taffeta and tulle. The layers were asymmetrically tapered to the side of the brim and reflect the undulating movement of Sarava's muscles and thick black mane and tail blowing in the wind. The finished design measures nearly 22 inches, end to end.
The distinctive red and white racing silks of the racing stable of Gary Drake and Paul and Susan Roy provide the basic color palette for the trimmings of this stunning Derby hat.
With the red roses of the Derby and the white carnations of the Belmont in mind, a single large fleur was created out swirling layers of garnet taffeta, red crinkled organza and white silk organza.
This floral centerpiece was placed in a bed of black satin leaves and black silk organza bow loops to create a dramatic layered look.
A sash was created out of black satin and lined with red crinkled organza, gently gathered at the back seam. A single silver fancy pebble button accents the back seam for the finishing touch.
As a physical remembrance of Sarava, several strands of the great stallion's tail hairs were braided and woven into the trim of the hat, creating a unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau that captures Sarava not only in spirit but in substance as well.
The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Sarava 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
Welcome home to Old Friends, Sarava!
The “Sarava” was the sixth and final hat in our “Hats Off to the Horses” Derby hat auction series this season, and was up for bid from April 1st through the 11th, 2013. At the end of the month, the winning bidder's name was announced.
To read more about Sarava, 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.