“Hats Off to the Horses,” the Online Derby-Hat Auction Benefiting Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement, Continues January 1st

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Stunning New Hat Honors Retiree Creator

GEORGETOWN, KY – DECEMBER 30, 2010 – Bidding opens January 1st on “The Creator,” hat number three in the six-part “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby,” an online fashion auction benefitting Old Friends, the central Kentucky organization devoted to racehorse retirement.

Handcrafted by milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of Maggie Mae Designs, the hat will be on the block from January 1st through January 11 2011.

Steinmann, who owns the Massachusetts-based Maggie Mae Designs, is donating the six magnificent millinery creations to raise funds for Old Friends, the 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that cares for more than 100 retired Thoroughbreds.  Each hat is inspired by one of the retirees at Old Friends and will be auctioned monthly from November to April, leading up to the famed First Saturday in May. One hundred percent of the online proceeds goes to Old Friends.

To celebrate the New Year, Steinmann has created a magnificent chapeau in honor of Old Friends’ 25-year-old retiree Creator, one the first horses acquired by the organization from the breeding sheds of Japan.

To view the hat and to read more about Maggie Mae Designs go to www.maggiemaedesigns.com.  To view the hats and bid, go to www.oldfriendsequine.org.

This unparalleled online shopping experience began on November 1st with “The Gulch.” It was followed in December by “The Tinner’s Way.” This is the second year for this unique auction series, which has so far raised nearly $6,500 for Old Friends.

A European superstar, Creator was bred in Great Britain – the last foal of the renowned Mill Reef – and was campaigned mostly in France by owner His Highness Sheik Mohammed Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai and trainer Andre Fabre.

A five-time stakes winner, Creator’s victories include a stunning two-and-a-half length victory in the Prix Ganay — the same race his sire won by an impressive 10-lengths in 1972.

Later that year, Creator’s suffered a career-ending injury during his only U.S. start, the Budweiser International at Maryland’s Laurel Park, and was retired at 4.

The most striking feature of Steinmann’s latest hat design is its asymmetrical shape. Rippling layers of shimmering copper-tinted crinkled taffeta and chocolate tulle were fashioned in such a way as to catch the light and draw the eye to the right side of the brim. Additional sprays of chocolate tulle were added to these wavy layers, expanding the brim to a dramatic 23 inches and creating a suave, debonair look.

A regal centerpiece, made of maroon dupioni silk and white silk organza incorporates Creator’s racing colors, while copper and sage metallic taffetas form a lavish bed of leaves that symbolize the stallion’s wins on both the dirt and turf.

For her finishing touch, Steinmann set two sparkling buttons on the back seam of the hat to represent the arrival of Creator and fellow retiree Sunshine Forever to Old Friends in 2004. They were the first stallions ever repatriated to the United States from stud duty overseas.

Read more about the new Creator hat at www.maggiemaedesigns.com.  To bid, go to www.oldfriendsequine.org.

For additional information on the hats or hat auction contact Cynthia Grisolia at cagrisolia@yahoo.com (347-423-7322) or Maggie Mae Designs at info@maggiemae.com (508-430-1626).

For more information about Old Friends see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org or call the main office at (502) 863-1775.

Maggie Mae Designs Custom Millinery offers magnificent hats for all occasions – from glamorous racing events such as the Kentucky Derby and the Royal Ascot to stunning and unique bridal wear and handsome cocktail fashions. Every hat is carefully handcrafted by milliner Sally Faith Steinmann from her home base in South Harwich, MA. Salons of her fashions can be seen on her website at www.maggiemaedesigns.com.

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 100 retired racehorses. Its Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has a satellite facility in New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, which is also open to visitors. For more information on tours, reservations at the Old Friends B&B, or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cagrisolia@yahoo.com, or Maggie Mae Designs (508) 430-1626), info@maggiemae.com.

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