Old Friends News

Monday, December 08, 2014
MATCHING DONATIONS! MATCH MATCH MATCH!  GoodGiving Guide Challenge is ending with a...
Sunday, December 07, 2014
Would you like to help out with a specific Christmas gift for our horses?  We need six...
Saturday, December 06, 2014
GoodGiving Guide Challenge continues with today's Challenge....  It is Raising Cane’s Giving...
Friday, December 05, 2014
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Sunday, November 30, 2014
It's POP UP Challenge Week on The GoodGiving Challenge! Lots of fun and creative ways to help Old...

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Hats Off To The Horses - The Game On Dude Hat

Special thanks to jockey Rosie Napravnik for being such a wonderful supporter of Old Friends.
Rosie is hanging out with Dude and  modeling the Game On Dude chapeau!

Click here to watch the video of this photo shoot!


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.

The third hat up for bid in our auction series honors Kentucky-bred 3-time Santa Anita Handicap winner and millionaire, Game On Dude. With earnings of just under $6.5 million, the Dude won 16 of 34 starts, including 14 graded stakes and, notably, two editions of both the Hollywood Gold Cup and Goodwood/Awesome Again Stakes.  The “Game On Dude” chapeau is up for bid from December 1st through the 11th.

In a recent Bloodhorse article, President and founder of Old Friends, Michael Blowen stated, "We are thrilled that Bob Baffert and the owners of Game On Dude are entrusting Old Friends with their spectacular racehorse.” And he added, "Now I know how the people of Cleveland felt when LeBron James signed with the Cavs.”

photo © equisportphotos

To read more about Game On Dude please click here.

Beth Shannon, a volunteer at Old Friends, states, “Game On Dude is absolutely a sweetie. He's also one cool dude in the sense of a certain smooth elegance with one of the most refined, elegant heads I've ever seen on a Thoroughbred. No frills and no uneven edges about his personality, just plenty of grace and style. If I were designing a visual tribute to Game On Dude, I'd make it cool, sleek and dynamic in a daring, graceful way.”

Indeed, a daring yet graceful chapeau was needed to honor this accomplished racing superstar and celebrate his new life at Old Friends. The resulting design showcases the Dude's medium bay coloring, his friendly, “cool dude” personality and his racing silk colors of royal blue, deep pumpkin orange and white piping.

The foundation for the “Game On Dude” hat is a fedora-flavored crown with a wide brim fashioned out of chocolate brown dupioni silk. A swirling black brocade underbrim reflects the undulating, rippling motion of the magnificently muscled Thoroughbred athlete stretched out at full gallop.

The edge of the brim was trimmed with a unique ruffled brim edge which allows light to pass through the sheer fabric. Created out of black silk organza overlaid with chocolate brown silk “pinstripes”, the resulting look is one of smooth elegance befitting the coolest of dudes.


For the finishing touch a black fancy braiding was hand stitched to the ruffled brim edge.

A large rose curl, created out of alternating layers of deep pumpkin orange silk, cinnamon organza and pale peach organza, adorns the front of the hat. A medley of deep royal blue satin and organza leaves were fashioned to frame the rose.


For a final touch to the centerpiece, eight black silk organza “feathers” lined with shimmering gold organza were set behind the rose curl to reflect The Dude's eight Grade 1 wins and, most especially, his record three Santa Anita and two Hollywood Gold Cup victories.

A sash created out of several layers of royal blue satin lined with gold organza encircles the crown of the hat; a gold button adorns the sash in the back.

The lining was created from black swirling brocade to coordinate with the hat.


The finished “Game On Dude” design measures approximately 24 inches end to end.

As a physical remembrance of Game On Dude, several strands of the gelding's tail hair were braided and woven into the trim of the hat, creating a unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau that captures Game On Dude not only in spirit but in substance as well.                                    CLICK HERE TO BID!

The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Game On Dude 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.    Check out Sally's blog post about the creation of this hat!

"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.

Click here to watch the video of this photo shoot !

As always, many many thanks to Rosie Napravnik for her 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 Rosie's stunning dresses for the photo shoots.

The “Game On Dude” chapeau is up for bid from December 1st through the 11th. After the auction, the winning bidder's name will be announced (unless they prefer to remain anonymous)..   (Rosie and Horse 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®