Current Auction Hat
“This Hard Land” 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 begins 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 first hat up for bid in our 2022 Hats Off to the Horses auction series for Old Friends honors This Hard Land, aka Frankie. A tall, handsome New York bred gelding owned by Lake Star Stable, Frankie got both his racing name and nickname from a Bruce Springsteen song. With a modest career on the track that included three ungraded stakes races, Frankie was retired to Old Friends at Cabin Creek in March of 2016.
The “This Hard Land” chapeau is up for bid from January 1st through the 11th. All proceeds from the sale go to Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement.
The “This Hard Land” hat auction marks the seventh time we are presenting a hat created to honor one of the Thoroughbred retirees of Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division. Named for the late Hall of Fame trainer, Bobby Frankel, Old Friends of Cabin Creek is located in Greenfield, New York. The farm is home to fifteen retired Thoroughbred racehorses and one American Quarter Horse under the care of JoAnn Pepper and her husband, Mark, along with the help of over a dozen devoted volunteers.
When I asked JoAnn Pepper her impression of This Hard Land she responded, "Frankie is best friends with Slew, dark, 17 hands. Sweet as can be, a fan favorite on tours. Frankie can always be counted on to be sweet, a gentle soul who sure loves people and treats!"
Indeed, a very special chapeau was needed to honor this beloved Thoroughbred athlete and to celebrate his retirement at Old Friends at Cabin Creek.
A wide-brimmed Derby hat design was created using a unique blend of colors, shades and textures that showcases Frankie's dark bay coloring, sweet temperament and his Lake Star racing silk colors of black, red and white.
The foundation for the “Frankie” design was fashioned out of a red dupioni silk overlaid with a rich black lace in paisley pattern.
A bold red dupioni silk underbrim creates a vibrant, colorful effect when the wearer's face is upturned.
Two red Derby roses created out of alternating layers of red dupioni silk and silk organza adorn the front of the hat. The larger rose is for Frankie and the slightly smaller one is for his best buddy at Cabin Creek, Slew's Brew.
This unique floral centerpiece is framed with a lavish leaf medley created out of black silk organza of all different sizes.
Five medium-size feathers and three larger ones created out of shimmering chocolate organza are the final accents for Frankie's trim centerpiece.
A triple layer black satin sash encircles the crown of the hat...
Three large black pebble buttons adorn the sash in the back.
The hat is stunning from every angle and measures approximately 20 inches end to end!
The lining for the “Frankie” hat was created from red satin to coordinate with the entire chapeau design.
As a physical remembrance of This Hard Land, 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 Frankie not only in spirit but in substance as well.
The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Frankie 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, Frankie!
To read more about This Hard Land, 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.