Hats Off To The Horses - The Zippy Chippy Hat

Acacia Courtney modeling The “Zippy Chippy” Hat photo © Connie Bush

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The Eighth 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 eighth consecutive year, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® of Cape Cod and Old Friends of Kentucky are teaming up again for an unparalleled online shopping experience with their Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby" auction.  This unique Derby hat fundraiser is an annual event which features one-of-a-kind couture Derby hats created and donated by custom milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit the retired racehorses of Old Friends.

Special thanks to Acacia Courtney for helping us with our “Hats Off to the Horses” fundraiser that supports the retired racehorses of Old Friends.

The third hat up for bid in our auction series honors Zippy Chippy, a retiree at Old Friends’ satellite farm in New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division. Described as “the most famous maiden in American horse racing history”, this dark bay gelding may have had a 0 for 100 record but his many adoring fans will tell you that he is living proof that not all winners finish first. In 2000, People Magazine voted Zippy Chippy one of the year’s “Most Intriguing Characters.”  Besides his 100 races against his fellow Thoroughbreds, Zippy's fame grew by racing a few Standardbreds (trotters and pacers), and some professional baseball players, some of whom he trounced soundly. In April 2010, Zippy was retired to Old Friends at Cabin Creek thanks to the generous help of his longtime owner-trainer, Felix Montserrate.

Zippy Chippy photo © Rick Capone

The Zippy Chippy hat auction marks the second time we are presenting a hat created to honor one of the Thoroughbred retirees of Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division. Named for the late Hall of Fame trainer, Bobby Frankel, Old Friends of Cabin Creek is located in Greenfield Center, New York. The farm is home to 14 retired racehorses under the care of JoAnn Pepper and her husband, Mark, along with the help of over a dozen devoted volunteers.

When I asked JoAnn Pepper her impression of Zippy Chippy she responded, "Zippy is unique in a great way and he means a lot to us here. He has taught us so much.”  And she added, “His friendship with Red (Red Down South, another retiree) is inspiring. He listens to Red, his buddy, for guidance. Peppermints are his favorite, followed by carrots. He has changed a lot since arriving here over 7 yrs ago. I think he is very content... as long as we don't ask him to do much!”

Click here for more information about Zippy Chippy, the horse!

Clearly, a very special hat was needed to honor this popular retiree of Old Friends. The resulting hat design showcases Zippy's stunning dark bay coat, his final race's track silks of royal blue, and his proud spirit and athleticism.

The foundation of the “Zippy Chippy” hat was fashioned as a wide brim design created out of white dupioni silk.

The edge of the brim was trimmed with a unique double organza brim edge which allows light to pass through the sheer fabric.

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Created out of royal blue silk organza and topstitched with dozens of swirling white and chocolate embroidered strands to reflect Zippy's 100 races, the resulting look conveys the movement of the Thoroughbred athlete at full gallop. A thin strip of fancy white braiding was then top stitched to the ruffled brim edges to give it a finished look.

For the trim centerpiece a large peony flower was sculpted out of white silk organza for the petals, each petal individually wired and shaped.

The center of the peony is a rose curl fashioned out of alternating layers of red dupioni silk and silk organza with a luminescent red button for accent. This single red rose was created to honor the special friendship that Zippy Chippy shares with his best buddy at Old Friends Cabin Creek, Red Down South.

Zippy Chippy and Red Down South photo © Connie Bush

This floral centerpiece is beautifully framed with a medley of royal blue silk organza leaves, individually wired and shaped.

Long fabric “feathers”, a MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® trademark, were then carefully stitched out of white, royal blue and chocolate organza, layered and shaped to add a splash of dramatic detail to the floral trim.

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A sash created out of folded layers of royal blue silk organza encircles the crown of the hat.

For the finishing touch, a handcrafted button created out of 100 luminescent chocolate seed beads meant to reflect Zippy Chippy's famed 100 starts, adorns a small blue silk organza bow on the back of the hat.

The “Zippy Chippy” hat is stunning from every angle with no details left untouched. The lining was created from a white brocade to coordinate with the hat.

The finished “Zippy Chippy” hat design measures approximately 24 inches across inclusive of the embroidered blue organza brim layer.

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

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Acacia Courtney modeling The “Zippy Chippy” Hat photo © Connie Bush

The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Zippy Chippy 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. 

Acacia Courtney modeling The “Zippy Chippy” Hat photo © Connie Bush  

Special thanks to TV analyst at Gulfstream Park, Acacia Courtney, for helping us with this month's “Hats Off to the Horses” fundraiser that supports the retired racehorses of Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement in Kentucky.

Our most sincere appreciation goes to Connie Bush of Tiger Eye Photography for her photo shoot.

The “Zippy Chippy" chapeau is up for bid from March 1st through the 11th. After the auction, the winning bidder's name will be announced (unless they prefer to remain anonymous).. 

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.





''Friends of Old Friends'' social media campaign - help us out by sharing the love!

 Please join me in thanking all of the wonderful organizations listed in the above poster who have joined us this year as “Friends of Old Friends” to help spread the word about our “Hats Off to the Horses” fundraiser.  To read more about this new social media campaign, please click on the poster or this link to learn more!

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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