Current Auction Hat
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The “Thunder Rumble” 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 third hat up for bid in January honors New York-bred Thunder Rumble, winner of the 1992 Jim Dandy and Travers Stakes. This nearly black stallion was one of the very first retirees to Old Friends’ satellite farm in New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division. Cape Cod milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® has created this stunning one-of-a-kind couture Derby hat to honor this great champion who arrived at the Old Friends Cabin Creek farm in 2009.
The “Thunder Rumble” chapeau is another “first” for our auction series. For the first time we present a hat design 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 14 retired racehorses under the care of JoAnn Pepper and her husband, Mark, along with the help of over a dozen devoted volunteers.
In a conversation with JoAnn, she described Thunder Rumble as her dream horse, her own “Black Stallion”, a mighty Thoroughbred who stands 17 hands high. Often a handful during his racing days, Thunder Rumble was a talented athlete who had a stellar year in 1992 under the training of Richard O'Connell who seemed to have a way of harnessing the colt's talent. After missing the Triple Crown series due to a virus, on August 3, 1992, Thunder Rumble won the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga against an elite field including the undefeated Furiously; just three weeks later he blew the field away to win the Travers Stakes by a stunning 4 ½ lengths. Thunder Rumble occupies the central paddock at Cabin Creek, and JoAnn affectionately calls him The King of the Farm. JoAnn states that he “puts his two cents in on everything” and trumpets his presence loudly wherever he goes. He and his buddy, fellow Travers Stakes winner (1996), Will's Way, are often seen racing one another in their adjacent paddocks. JoAnn adds, “when Thunder Rumble races, he always wins.”
With inspiration from my conversation with JoAnn along with biographical information from Old Friends, I created the “Thunder Rumble” hat: a unique blend of colors, tones and textures that showcases the horse's nearly black coloring and Ursula Widmer's racing stable colors of red, black and white.
A hat foundation was created using a rich black dupioni silk. A layer of ruched black satin, topped with delicate black braiding and handstitched to the underbrim edge, represents this great muscled athlete at full gallop as he comes rumbling like thunder through the stretch. The finished design measures nearly 19 inches, end to end.
The distinctive black, deep red and white racing silks of Ursula Widmer's racing stable provide the basic color palette for the trimmings of this stunning Derby hat. The centerpiece is comprised of two elegant rose curls created out of swirling layers of cranberry red metallic taffeta and black silk organza. A large brass fancy button accents the roses and reflects the great stallion's golden brown muzzle and keen, watchful eye.
This rose curl centerpiece is framed with a medley of rich black dupioni silk and silk organza leaves. The entire centerpiece is nestled into layers of alternating black and white tulle as well as black veiling, to symbolize Thunder Rumble's black mane and tail and racing colors.
A sash was created out of black satin, folded, with a slightly gathered black satin lining.
Finally, a second large brass button and black cording fashioned into a bow were placed at the back of the hat; frayed ends suggest Thunder Rumbles' tail. The end result is a hat that is stunning from all angles. For one last elegant detail, a fancy black braiding was topstitched to the edge of the brim.
As a physical remembrance of Thunder Rumble, several strands of the great stallion'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 Thunder Rumble not only in spirit but in substance as well.
The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Thunder Rumble 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 and Cabin Creek 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 Thunder Rumble!
The “Thunder Rumble” is the third hat in our “Hats Off to the Horses” Derby hat auction series this season, and it will be up for bid from January 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 Thunder Rumble, 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.