The first of six stylish Derby hats offered for sale this month, was crafted and auctioned by Cape Cod milliner Sally Steinmann, of Maggie Mae Designs. The bright, sweeping number was inspired by the racing silks of Rapid Redux.
Each month, a new hat will be unveiled and auctioned to benefit the sprawling Kentucky farm where Michael Blowen offers retirement homes to great ex-racehorses.
Bids on the hats can be made online, on the Old Friends website, or by calling Old Friends at 502-863-1775.
The unique fundraiser, which was begun by Steinmann as a way to help contribute to the welfare of racehorses, has raised nearly $14,000 thus far for Old Friends, but she hopes to build on that by the time jockeys are called to mount up for the 2013 Kentucky Derby!
“I was a horseracing fan for a long time, but after I saw Ruffian break down, I had to walk away from it. It was a rude awakening to a person who had never considered the tougher side of horse racing,” Steinmann says. “But, in my milliner business, I found myself making hats for clients who were attending the Derby and Royal Ascot, and their excitement drew me back into it.
“I’ve always loved horses, and, in a way, theses hats are my gift to help them.”
Each hat that will be unveiled in the months-long auction will be influenced in some way by a racehorse, she says, noting there will be some big surprises this year.
The Rapid Redux headpiece features 22 roses to symbolize the horse’s 22 victories, and the silks inspired yellow beads and hot pink, she says.
Each hat is a gorgeous way to represent Old Friends and the individual horse personalities, says Vivien Morrison, a volunteer with the Kentucky facility.
“Sally has created a unique way to pay homage to our individual horses, and her beautiful creations allow the bidders a one-of-a-kind opportunity to support Old Friends—in style!”