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For the fourth hat auction in this year’s auction series, milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® has created this stunning one-of-a-kind couture Derby hat to honor the great sire, Fortunate Prospect, one of the most beloved retirees at Old Friends of Kentucky.

A unique trim design of sumptuous tones and textures was chosen to celebrate Fortunate Prospect’s conformation, the racing colors of his stable and his impressive career as a talented equine athlete and successful sire.

This handsome stallion’s coat is “nearly black.” A black dupioni silk was selected to capture this warm imagery, with dramatic swirling and intertwining layers of ebony black and deep espresso tulle that literally cover the nearly 23-inch wide brim and spill over the edges for a truly elegant look when the brim is upturned.

The centerpiece is a single large rose curl created in swirling layers of goldenrod shantung, soft coral organza and deep tangerine satin which is framed by a medley of black silk organza leaves. Valerine Mulgrave of the Old Friends Blog writes, “Fortunate Prospect just exudes class. He is like an old southern gentleman–kind, gentle and with a twinkle in his eye,” and it was in an effort to capture the dapper quality of this great sire that a black satin bow tie was added as a subtle background layer for the rose curl.

The Fortunate Prospect

A lavish triple bow created in tangerine satin and pleated apricot taffeta provides a colorful setting for the rose; a sash of tangerine satin lined with pleated apricot taffeta, goldenrod shantung and ruched black dupioni silk surrounds the crown.

The “Fortunate Prospect” hat is the fourth in our “Hats Off to the Horses” Derby hat auction series this season, and it will be up for bid from February 1st through the 11th, 2012. At the end of the month, the winning bidder’s name will be announced (unless they prefer to remain anonymous).