Current Auction Hat
Please join us once again for the
For the fifth consecutive year, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® and Old Friends are teaming up again for an unparalleled online shopping experience beginning November 1st with their "Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby" auction. This unique Derby hat fundraiser is now an annual event which 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 first hat that was up for bid in our fundraiser auction series honors Kentucky-bred Sean Avery, Grade 1 winner of the Saratoga Race Course's 2011 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap over Trappe Shot and Calibrachoa. Cape Cod milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® created this stunning one-of-a-kind couture Derby hat to honor this bay gelding who arrived at Old Friends in March 2013 thanks to the generous donation of the Black Swan Stable.
We are so pleased this year to have Rosie Napravnik modeling our “Sean Avery” chapeau for us. Thank you, Rosie! A very special thanks also goes to Matt and Wendy Wooley of EquiSport Photos for their photo shoot with Rosie and the horses of Old Friends.
The "Sean Avery" Hat
Sean Avery was purchased for $30,000 at the 2007 Keeneland September sale by Black Swan Stable's racing manager, John DeStefano. Named after the New York Rangers hockey star, Sean Avery was trained by Allen Iwiniski and Michael Hushion and went on to win 7-1-2 from 14 starts with lifetime earnings of $398,640. Old Friends founder Michael Blowen describes the bay gelding as "a tough little guy and the kind of hard-knocking horse that you really can like”. Perhaps best remembered for his gritty neck-and-neck battle with Trappe Shot and ultimate victory in the 2011 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at odds of 17-1, Sean Avery proved himself to be a horse with a whole lot of heart who never gave up.
A dramatic chapeau was needed to honor this accomplished equine athlete and to celebrate his arrival at Old Friends. A stylish Derby hat design was created with a unique blend of colors, tones and textures that showcases Sean Avery's bay coloring along with the red roses of the Derby and the Black Swan Stable racing silk colors of black, red and white.
The “Sean Avery” hat was fashioned out of black dupioni silk and features a sweeping wide brim that folds up to create an asymmetrical hat style full of panâche and dramatic flair!
The distinctive black, red and white racing silks of the Black Swan Stable and the traditional red roses that symbolize the Kentucky Derby inspired the basic color palette for the trimmings of this stunning Derby hat.
With the red roses of the Derby in mind, a single large fleur was created out swirling layers of garnet metallic taffeta and red dupioni silk. A deep espresso glittering button adorns the center of the rose curl to reflect Sean Avery's keen, steady eye.
This floral centerpiece was placed in a bed of black satin and silk organza leaves to create a dramatic variegated leaf effect. Alternating layers of gleaming black and chocolate tulle, designed to symbolize Sean Avery's bay coat and black mane and tail, frame the edges of the rose and leaves.
Long slender silk organza “feathers”, a MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® trademark, were created to develop this dramatic black swan design. Dozens of the black, silver and white silk organza feathers of all different sizes and shapes were carefully layered and then curved into wing-like shapes that gracefully frame the face when the hat is worn.
A sash was created out of red dupioni silk lined with garnet metallic taffeta, gently gathered at the back seam. A single shimmering espresso colored button accents the back seam.
The finished design inclusive of the silk organza “feathers” measures nearly 22 inches, end to end.
For one final touch, three rosettes created in red dupioni and taffeta with tiny black silk leaves adorn the underbrim and create a note of elegance and charm when the wearer's face is upturned.
As a physical remembrance of Sean Avery, several strands of the great gelding's tail hairs were braided and woven into the trim of the hat, creating a unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau that captures Sean Avery not only in spirit but in substance as well.
The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Sean Avery 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, Sean Avery!
Little Silver Charm, spokeshorse of Old Friends, loves Rosie AND the new “Sean Avery” hat!
The “Sean Avery” was the first hat in our “Hats Off to the Horses” Derby hat auction series this season, and was up for bid from November 1st through the 11th, 2013.
CONGRATULATIONS to Michelle Nicklay of North Dakota, winner of the "Sean Avery" hat that was up for bid in November.
To read more about Sean Avery, 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.