Current Auction Hat
The Derby Hat Collection by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®
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The “Wallenda” Hat
For the third 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.
For the fifth hat auction in this year's auction series, milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® has created this stunning one-of-a-kind couture Derby hat to honor the 1993 Super Derby and Pennsylvania Derby winner, Wallenda, one of the dearest and most beloved retirees at Old Friends of Kentucky who is now 22 years young.
Foaled in 1990 by the 1988 Breeders' Cup Sprint champion Gulch out of So Glad (Liloy), Wallenda is perhaps best known for his 1993 victories in the Super Derby and the Pennsylvania Derby. Named for Karl Wallenda, patriarch of the Flying Wallendas, Wallenda was a Kentucky Derby contender in 1993, where he was beaten by Bull Inthe Heather, who coincidentally is now one of his paddock neighbors at Old Friends along with Wallenda's sire, the great Gulch. Following Wallenda's retirement, the dark bay stallion was sent overseas to stand at stud in New Zealand. Then, in 2007, Old Friends purchased Wallenda for $10,000 thanks to a large contribution from Anne and Cot Campbell of Dogwood Stable and a successful online “Fly Wallenda Home” campaign. Wallenda was welcomed home from Japan on June 14, 2007 greeted with a high-wire performance by Tino Wallenda and the rest of the Flying Wallenda family at Old Friends Farm. As Micheal Blowen, founder of Old Friends so aptly stated, “The return of Wallenda is a great example of how everyone working together can accomplish something; it really brings out the best side of racing.”
Suffering in recent years from several serious hind leg ailments, Wallenda has been described to me as a true hero; one who continues to live his life to the fullest in spite of physical adversity. Valerie Mulgrave of the Old Friends Blog writes, “And this is why Wallenda is the toughest horse I ever met: he walks on not four, not three, but on TWO good legs. Horses just don’t do that; they can’t. Nature designed the horse to need all four legs—an injury to one leg is often catastrophic, let alone damage to two legs. But Wallenda is tougher than that. He not only survives, he does it with determination, verve, and class. He seems to know just how much he can handle. He cleans up his meals, his coat is shiny and dappled and his eyes are bright. He enjoys his life and makes the most of it—regardless of the chronic discomfort I imagine he must feel. I just can’t imagine any horse tougher than that.”
To capture this gutsy dark bay stallion's warm imagery and deep-chested conformation, a brilliant dark chocolate dupioni silk was selected for the flat oval base of the hat. A single layer of black silk organza was pleated and stitched to the outer brim edge, and then, at one end of the brim, nearly four yards of black and chocolate brown tulle were alternately gathered, stitched and layered between the organza brim edges to reflect the stallion's dark mane and tail. With these elements the width of the brim is stretched to nearly 24 inches.
The distinctive yellow and green polka dot racing silks of Dogwood Stable provided the basic color palette for the trimmings of this stunning Derby hat in a truly innovative combination of texture and design.
The centerpiece is comprised of three luscious medium rose curls created in swirling layers of deep yellow satin and soft lemon organza.
This rose curl centerpiece is framed with a medley of glistening Spring green organza leaves. Black hat veiling set behind the rose curls and leaves offers a contrasting flourish that sets off the green and yellow tones of this trim design.
The setting for this rose curl medley is a large double bow created in shiny spring green satin lined with a softer matte green satin for texture. Four medium length tails, created in this same fabric combination, add a bit of dimension and elegance to the bow; a matching sash surrounds the crown.
Five slender black silk organza “feathers” gracefully bend and curl in different directions and serve to balance the entire design.
For a finishing touch, several strips of black silk organza were carefully ruched and topstitched to create a ruffled border where the wavy black silk layer meets the brim edge.
Finally, three yellow buttons vertically adorn the green satin back seam of the hat and remind us one more time of the distinctive, playful yellow polka dot and green racing silks of the Dogwood Stable.
One other innovation for the "Wallenda" hat was the weaving of a physical remembrance of the horse into the hat. Several strands of the great stallion's tail hairs were braided and woven into the trim of the hat itself, thereby creating a unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau that is Wallenda not only in spirit but in substance as well...
The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Wallenda 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
Three cheers for Wallenda!
The “Wallenda” hat is the fifth in our “Hats Off to the Horses” Derby hat auction series this season, and it will be up for bid from March 1st through the 11th, 2012. At the end of the month, the winning bidder's name will be announced (unless they prefer to remain anonymous).
To read more about Wallenda, 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.