Old Friends News

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
, Silver Charm photo © Barbara Livingston courtesy Daily Racing Form October 29, 2014:...
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Monday, November 3 at 4:00pm - 8:00pm  West Sixth Brewing will donate a total of $3000 in...
Monday, October 13, 2014
  The Old Friends Scene magazine is a stand-alone collector’s edition produced by the...

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Hats Off To The Horses - The Eldaafer Hat

Jockey Rosie Napravnik wearing the “Eldaafer” Hat; Rosie's husband, trainer Joe Sharp; Eldaafer and his goats, Yahoo and Google.

Click here to watch the video of the amazing photo shoot with Rosie Napravnik & Joe Sharp at Old Friends!

The Sixth 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 sixth 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 $21,000.00 for the horses.

We are delighted to have Rosie Napravnik modeling our “Hats Off to the Horses” chapeaux. This season she will be joined by some special friends who are lending their support to the upcoming auctions, so stay tuned!  Thank you, Rosie! A very special thanks also goes to Matt and Wendy Wooley of EquiSport Photos for their photo shoots and videos with Rosie and the horses of Old Friends. Thank you as well to Bella Rose Clothing Boutique, Lexington, Kentucky for furnishing Rosie's stunning dresses for the photo shoots. 

The first hat that is up for bid in our fundraiser auction series honors Kentucky-bred 2010 Breeders' Cup Marathon winner  millionaire, Eldaafer. The 9-year-old bay gelding, whose name means “victorious”, retired to Old Friends in May, 2014, accompanied by his ever-present companion goats, Google and Yahoo, thanks to the help of his breeder, Diane Alvarado.

photo © Rick Capone

To read more about Eldaafer, please click here.

Everyone who has met Eldaafer agrees that there is something very special about him. Volunteer Beth Shannon of Old Friends says that “Eldaafer is very confident and absolutely sure he's hot stuff. He's energetic, friendly and royally bred by A.P. Indy, and a real firecracker like his dam, runner-up juvenile champion, Habibti.”

According to Michael Blowen, President and founder of Old Friends, Eldaafer arrived at Old Friends with much more than just a stellar track record. Blowen states, “Eldaafer, whose name means victorious, was exactly that in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Marathon when he set the Churchill Downs track record for 1 3/4 miles.” Blowen adds, “Little Silver Charm taught him to bang on the stall door, while his security goat guards, Google and Yahoo, look on. He's settled in very nicely and is a big hit on the tours except I think he resents sharing the limelight with the omnipresent goats. They are like the Secret Service to Eldaafer.”


A dramatic chapeau was needed to honor this accomplished equine athlete and celebrate his new life that he now shares with Google and Yahoo at Old Friends. A stylish Derby hat design was created with a unique blend of colors, shades and textures that showcases Eldaafer's medium bay coloring, fiery temperament and his racing silk colors of white, red and blue.   The foundation for the “Eldaafer” design was fashioned out of a white dupioni silk overlaid with a rich black lace. A bold red dupioni silk underbrim creates a vibrant, colorful effect when the wearer's face is upturned.


A large red silk organza Marguerite fleur with a red rose curl center adorns the front of the hat. The rose curl was created out of alternating layers of satin and silk organza and then nestled in a bed of black and deep blue netting. A black button was added for a final accent.  This floral centerpiece is framed by a bed of black silk organza leaves and shimmering bow loops created out of chocolate crinkle taffeta and black silk organza.


For a final touch, five black silk organza “feathers” were added to reflect Eldaafer's trusty bodyguards, Yahoo and Google, from whom he is inseparable.  


A red taffeta sash encircles the crown of the hat; a black pebble button adorns the sash in the back. 


The lining was created from chocolate brown satin to coordinate with the trims and to reflect Eldaafer's bay coat.  The finished “Eldaafer” design measures approximately 19 inches end to end.


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

The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Eldaafer and all of the horses who, thanks to the generosity of those who support their aftercare, now graze in the warm sunshine of Dream Chase Farm 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 and founder of Old Friends.

Watch the video of the amazing Eldaafer photo shoot with Rosie Napravnik at Old Friends!

Special thanks to Rosie Napravnik, Joe Sharp and EquiSport Photos for helping us with our “Hats Off to the Horses” fundraiser that supports the retired racehorses of Old Friends in Kentucky!   Rosie's dresses kindly furnished by Bella Rose Clothing Boutique, Lexington, KY.    

The “Eldaafer” is the first hat in our “Hats Off to the Horses” Derby hat auction series this season, and is up for bid from November 1st through the 11th, 2014.  At the end of the month, the winning bidder's name will be announced (unless they prefer to remain anonymous)..   (Horse, goats and Rosie 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®