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Third Annual “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby”
Online Derby Hat Auction Benefits Retired Racehorses of Old Friends

For the third consecutive year, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® and Old Friends Equine of Kentucky have teamed up for an unparalleled online shopping experience: “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” . This unique Derby hat fundraiser features one-of-a-kind couture Kentucky Derby hats created by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit the retired racehorses of Old Friends. The first two years of the fundraiser, 2009-2011, have been a great success. To view the couture Derby hats from previous auctions, please click on the following – Old Friends Hat Auction Portfolio.

This unique Derby hat auction which runs from November 1st, 2011, right up to Derby Day 2012, features a new Derby hat design each month that has been created by Sally Faith Steinmann of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to honor the beauty and spirit of one of the horses at Old Friends. All of the proceeds from this running auction will benefit the retired thoroughbred racehorses now living at Old Friends on Dream Chase Farm. Old Friends and its founder, Michael Blowen, are well known in racing circles for the exceptional care they give racehorses that are too old for racing or breeding. We thought a fundraiser honoring several of the 70 retirees now living at Dream Chase Farm was the perfect way to celebrate the road to the 137th Kentucky Derby.

On the first of each month the featured auction hat will be posted on this website and the Old Friends website. Each hat will be available for bidding for 10 days only , from the 1st of the month through the 11th. To bid, please go to the Old Friends website at and click on the link provided after the first of each month. Winners will be announced each month (unless they prefer to remain anonymous) and on the first day of the following month a new one-of-a-kind millinery creation placed up for bid to celebrate another resident of Old Friends. For further information about the eBay bidding process, please contact Old Friends at 502-863-1775 .

In a 2001 CBS interview, Michael Blowen of Old Friends was asked why he wanted to help Thoroughbred racehorses and not some other worthy cause. He replied, “Everyone has a little spot in the world. One tiny little dot. This is my dot.” Michael’s love and respect for the horses in his care are evident in his every word and action, and his dream for the farm is really coming true. Old Friends is indeed a haven for the retired racehorses who live there and a marvelous outreach for educating the public about the needs of all horses.

MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS ® has a dot as well, and we want to help. By donating these custom Derby hats to Old Friends we are hoping to connect the dots by bringing the world of hat couture and equine aftercare together as we help Michael with his dream. Instead of two isolated dots, this unique online hat auction creates a connection between us. It is our way of giving something back to the world of horses and at the same time offering someone the chance to own a beautiful one-of-a-kind Derby hat by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®!

For the second 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 1989 Breeders’ Cup Turf Champion, Prized, one of the newest retirees at Old Friends of Kentucky. The “Prized” hat goes up on the auction block December 1st through December 11thand can be found at the following link –

Prized Derby Hat

The “Prized” Hat

To place a bid starting December 1st or to learn more about Old Friends at Dream Chase Farm, please visit the Old Friends website to access the eBay link, or call them at 502-863-1775.

To view the couture Derby hats from previous auctions, please click on the following link – Old Friends Hat Auction Portfolio.