Photo: Connie Bush/Tiger Eye Photography.
GEORGETOWN, KY – FEBRUARY 4, 2020 – The annual “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” online fashion auction continues this week with a beautiful Derby-style chapeau going on the virtual block to raise money for Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY.
This is the 11th consecutive year that Old Friends has joined with acclaimed milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of the Massachusetts-based Maggie Mae Designs® to auction off four handcrafted Derby hats between January and April, each inspired by one of the non-profit organization’s 200-plus retired racehorses. To date, this online fundraiser has garnered over $38,000 for Old Friends.
This new hat was inspired by Watchem Smokey, a resident at Old Friends at Cabin Creek in Greenfield Center, NY, and it is showcased here by Gulfstream Park racing analyst Acacia Courtney.
The hat will be up for bid for 10 days only from 8 pm (EST) February 1st through 8 pm (EST) on February 11th. Interested bidders can go to the Old Friends website at www.oldfriendsequine.org and follow the link, or CLICK HERE to visit our eBay page.
To read more and to view additional images of the hat, CLICK HERE.
About the Horse
The second hat up for bid in our 2020 honors Watchem Smokey, the Oklahoma-bred son of another Old Friends retiree, Alphabet Soup. Starting out as a claimer, Smokey went on to become a graded stakes winner with trainer Bobby Frankel. In 2009, Smokey was injured in what would be his final race at Oklahoma’s Remington Park. Thanks to the efforts of the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program, Watchem Smokey recovered from his injury and was retired to Old Friends in 2010.
About the Hat
To honor this Old Friends retiree, the distinctive red, white, and blue racing silks of owner Edmund Gann provided the primary color inspiration. A foundation was created using a base layer of red dupioni silk in a wide-brim style. A red dupioni silk under brim creates a bold, elegant effect when the wearer’s face is upturned. To further showcase Gann’s stable colors, a large red rose curl created with alternating layers of dupioni silk and silk organza adorns the front of the hat. This sumptuous rose curl centerpiece is nestled into a medley of bold blue silk organza leaves.
For a final element in the floral centerpiece, seven chocolate silk organza “feathers” topstitched with black thread were added to reflect Watchem Smokey’s bay coloring. A chocolate satin sash lined with blue silk organza encircles the crown of the hat and swirling layers of alternating chocolate brown and red tulle, encircle the crown. For a final trim element, a single black pebble button adorns the sash in the back.
As always, several strands of the horse’s tail hair have been braided and woven into the trim.
Bidding on the “Watchem Smokey” is open now.
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.