“Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” Continues with a Chapeau Inspired by Catlaunch

Shea and Julien Leparoux with Catlaunch.  Shea models the Catlaunch hat. Dress by Bella Rose Boutique, photo © and courtesy of EquiSport Photos.

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 5, 2015 – The online fashion auction “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” continues with a fourth beautiful handcrafted Derby chapeau on the virtual auction block to raise money for Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY.

This new hat was inspired by Old Friends retiree Catlaunch – the multiple Ohio Horse of the Year who won a remarkable 40 races, including 22 stakes, and earned more than $1.1 million. The beautiful chapeau will be modeled by Shea Leparoux accompanied by her husband, leading jockey Julien Leparoux.

This is the sixth consecutive year that Old Friends has joined with acclaimed milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of the Massachusetts-based Maggie Mae Designs® to auction off six exclusive Derby hats between November and April, each inspired by one of the non-profit organization’s 150 retired racehorses.

Bidding on “The Catlaunch” ends at 8 pm on January 11th. Interested bidders can go to the Old Friends website at www.oldfriendsequine.org and follow the link.

Steinmann felt an elegant, statuesque chapeau was needed to honor this beloved racing star. The resulting design reflects Catlaunch’s bay coloring, his friendly, affectionate personality and his racing silk colors of green-blue, pink and golden yellow.

The foundation was fashioned as a classic top hat, this one made of luminous turquoise taffeta. A large pink rose curl, nestled in a “shades-of-blue” medley of organza leaves, adorns the front, while a trio of soft blue buttons embellishes the back. The hat is finished with a sash of crinkled mahogany taffeta and a delicate mocha veil that drapes down over the wearer’s face. Lastly, as a physical remembrance, several strands of the gelding’s tail hair were braided and woven into the trim.

For more information and additional photos of the hat, please visit: http://www.maggiemae.com/OldFriendsAuction-Hat-Catlaunch.htm.

For a behind-the-scenes video of Shea’s and Julien’s photo shoot, visit http://vimeo.com/115581281.

For Sally’s blog interview with Shea and Julien Leparoux, visit: http://wp.me/p30hfe-1CD.

For additional information, contact Maggie Mae Designs® at sally@maggiemae.com.

For more information about Old Friends, see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org or call the farm 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 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.

About Old Friends
Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 115 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 Greenfield Center, New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, which is also open to visitors. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

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