8th Annual “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” Kicks Off with “The Alphabet Soup” Chapeau

Old Friends retiree Alphabet Soup poses with Krystal Court.

For the eighth consecutive year, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® and Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement are teaming up for an unparalleled shopping experience: “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby”.

This unique fundraiser features an online auction of one-of-a-kind couture hats created by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®, with the 100 percent of proceeds benefiting Old Friends.

The first hat up for bid in our auction series, which kicked off January 1st, honors Old Friends retiree Alphabet Soup, winner of the 1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Bidding in this online auction will be available through January 11, 8:00 pm (EST). To bid, CLICK HERE.

Sally Faith Steinmann, who owns the Massachusetts-based Maggie Mae Designs®, will donate four magnificent millinery creations in 2017 to raise funds for Old Friends, the 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that cares for over 165 retired racehorses.  Each hat is inspired by one of the retirees at Old Friends, and will be auctioned the first of each month through April 1st, 2017. Each will be ready to wear at this year’s Run for the Roses.

To date, Steinmann has raised over $26,000 for Old Friends.


A very special hat was needed to honor this charming retiree. The resulting design reflects Alphabet Soup’s pearl-white coat, his familiar racing silk colors of orange-red and sage green, and his proud spirit and athleticism.

The foundation of the heat features a curved, wide-brim created out of pearl-white dupioni silk. A fancy grey braiding was hand stitched to the under brim to reflect the stallion’s darker mane and tail when he was a colt.

Yards of shimmering white and grey tulle were swirled together and layered around the crown to provide a wispy bed for a cluster of roses, each made with alternating layers of red China silk and silk organza. The rose clusters are framed with a medley of tarragon-green organza leaves. And for the finishing touch, a large pewter pebble button adorns the back seam.

The finished “Alphabet Soup” hat design measures over 23 inches across inclusive of the tulle.

Old Friends, Inc. 1841 Paynes Depot Rd., Georgetown, KY 40324
502-863-1775 www.oldfriendsequine.org   michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Old Friends at Cabin Creek   483 Sandhill Rd., Greenfield Center, NY 12833
518-698-2377   www.oldfriendsatcabincreek.com   cabincreek4@hotmail.com

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