Hats Off To The Horses - The Silver Charm Hat

  Special thanks to retired jockey Rosie Napravnik, to her husband, trainer Joe Sharp and to their baby boy Carson for helping us with this year's “Hats Off to the Horses” fundraiser that supports the retired racehorses of Old Friends in Kentucky.

  Click here to watch the video of this photo shoot!


The Seventh Annual "Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby"

 A Unique Online Derby Hat Auction Benefiting Old Friends  
sponsored by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® - Custom Derby Millinery by Sally Faith Steinmann


For the seventh consecutive year, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® and Old Friends are teaming up again for an unparalleled online monthly auction November 1st through April 1st with their "Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby" series. This unique Derby hat fundraiser is now an annual event which features one-of-a-kind couture Derby hats created by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit the retired racehorses of Old Friends.  These hats have made over $23,000.00 for the horses.

The first hat up for bid in our auction series honors Florida-bred multiple graded stakes winner and Hall of Famer, Silver Charm. Silver Charm is perhaps best remembered for winning the 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes as well as his thrilling victory in the 1998 Dubai World Cup. The 21-year-old grey/roan (now nearly white) son of Silver Buck and Bonnie's Poker went on to numerous stakes earning a total of nearly $7 million.

When president and founder of Old Friends, Michael Blowen, got the call that the great Silver Charm was being pensioned and coming home to Old Friends, the news spread like wildfire.  In an October 29th Bloodhorse article, Michael Blowen, president and founder of Old Friends, was quoted as saying, “It's totally unbelievable. A few days ago I got a call from Sandy Hatfield (stallion manager) over at Three Chimneys and she said, 'Do you have room over there for a gray stallion that needs a home?' And I freaked out. It's a great story of cooperation among Three Chimneys, the JBBA, the Lewises, and then finally to us. It's funny, within a matter of weeks we end up with probably the two best horses Bob Baffert ever trained (Game on Dude retired to Old Friends in October, 2014).”

Silver Charm is a racehorse that breathes the rarefied air known to only a very few equine athletes throughout Thoroughbred horse racing history. In order to create a hat to honor such an esteemed champion, it was important to know what the great horse was like in person.

Beth Shannon, a volunteer at Old Friends who has come to know the great grey since his arrival states, “Silver Charm knows who he is. He's one of the proudest horses I've ever known, but he's gracious. He understands that people feel privileged to be around him, and he goes out of his way to share his presence and kindness. His intelligence is awe-inspiring, too. His mom, Bonnie's Poker, lived with us in her old age and was loved by us all. Silver Charm has a different kind of presence. He commands respect at once, but the love he inspires just keeps growing and growing with time.”   Read more about Silver Charm here.

The “Silver Charm” chapeau is up for bid from November 1st through the 11th.

Indeed, a very special chapeau was needed to honor this accomplished Thoroughbred athlete and to celebrate his new life at Old Friends. The resulting design showcases Silver Charm's stunning grey coat, now mostly white, his unique personality and Bob & Beverly Lewis's racing silk colors of yellow and green.

The foundation of the “Silver Charm” hat was fashioned as a wide brim hat design using silver dupioni silk for the foundation. Three varying shades of gray and white silk organza were used for the ruffled outer brim layers to reflect the transformation of the stallion's coat colors from a rich dappled grey to nearly white.

A charcoal fancy braiding was top stitched to the ruffled brim edges and along the underbrim for the perfect finishing touches.


 A large single rose curl, sculpted out of alternating layers of deep yellow dupioni silk and yellow silk organza, adorns the front of the hat. A medley of spring green dupioni silk and organza leaves, individually wired and shaped, were fashioned to frame the rose.

Several free form “bow loops” created out of wispy gray hat veiling were set behind the leaves for a touch of soft, wispy elegance.

Dozens of long slender gray, white and charcoal silk organza “feathers”, a MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® trademark, were carefully stitched, layered and then shaped to frame the face beautifully when the hat is worn.


 A deep green dupioni silk sash, folded in layers, was fashioned to encircle the crown of the hat.


For a final touch, a large swirling silver and black button adorns the back.

A silver brocade was chosen for the lining of the “Silver Charm”.

The finished “Silver Charm” hat design measures approximately 28 inches across inclusive of the “feathers” that extend beyond the brim edge.


As a physical remembrance of Silver Charm, several strands of the stallion's tail hair were braided and woven into the trim of the hat, creating a unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau that captures Silver Charm not only in spirit but in substance as well.

The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Silver Charm and all of the horses who, thanks to the generosity of those who support their aftercare, now graze in the warm sunshine at Old Friends for the rest of their lives.

"Sally Faith Steinmann's works of millinery art have raised thousands of dollars and a priceless amount of awareness for all these great retired athletes. Their stunning beauty and indescribable originality symbolize what one great artist can do to positively alter the lives of so many deserving athletes."- Michael Blowen, President, Founder of Old Friends. 

Click here to watch the video of this photo shoot!

As always, many many thanks to Rosie and Joe (and Carson!) for their support!

A very special thanks also goes to Matt and Wendy Wooley of EquiSport Photos for their photo shoots and videos. Thank you as well to Bella Rose Clothing Boutique, Lexington, Kentucky for furnishing the stunning dresses for the photo shoots.

The “Silver Charm: chapeau is up for bid from November 1st through the 11th. After the auction, the winning bidder's name will be announced (unless they prefer to remain anonymous)..   (Rosie, Joe, Carson and Silver Charm not included!) 

Bid as many times and on as many hats as you like during these auctions. For further information about the eBay bidding process, please contact Old Friends at 502-863-1775.  Freight charges will be at the expense of the winning bidder. Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery of your hat in order to ensure proper sizing.  To view the couture Derby hats from previous auctions, please click on the following -

View MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® information page about this hat.

Old Friends Hat Auction Portfolio.


All hat designs and hat photos on this page are the sole property of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®. All Images and content may not be reproduced for any commercial purpose without the express, written permission of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® or the photographers noted.  Copyright MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®

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