Our Melbourne Cup hats and headpieces were on show in Christchurch

The Melbourne Cup meets SHOW PONY

The 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup made a visit to New Zealand and SHOW PONY Millinery was lucky enough to meet it!

We’re big Melbourne Cup fan girls here at SHOW PONY H/Q so when the team at Christchurch NZ asked us to be official millinery label as part of a special 2017 Melbourne Cup racewear show, we jumped at the chance.

Below are a few snaps of the hats, headpieces & crowns the models wore on the runway with outfits from the likes of Superette, Bec & Bridge, Mode Collective, Jakke & more.

"Wildfire" - Rose gold vegan leather crown

A striking black & white Melbourne Cup Hat

A gorgeous red Melbourne Cup hat

Each piece is currently in stock & ready to ship.

Keep checking back for more shots of the show!


Hats To Wear At The Kentucky Oaks 2017

If you’re still looking for a pretty pink hat to wear to the Kentucky Oaks 2017, don’t fear! You’ve still got time to find that perfect headpiece.

Below is a quick edit of three pretty, pink hats that would be perfect for the Oaks.

They are all in stock & ready to ship, and there are plenty of other hats, fascinators and headpieces to tickle your fancy in our online boutique.

We ship all our hats via trackable, international courier which takes approx. 5-7 working days to get up the USA from here in New Zealand.

2017 Kentucky Oaks hat by SHOW PONY Millinery

Floral, pink & pretty is this knock-out, on-trend Kentucky Oaks hat.

2017 Kentucky Oaks hat by SHOW PONY Millinery

Make like Kate Middleton in this gorgeous blush saucer hat – perfect for the Oaks or even a wedding.

2017 Kentucky Oaks hat by SHOW PONY Millinery

Laser cut felt makes for a cutting-edge, modern fascinator that will go with all number of styles & is oh-so-light and easy to wear.

Enjoy your hat shopping ladies!


Kentucky Derby Hats: New in stock

With custom orders for Kentucky Derby hats now full, we’ve been busy stocking our online boutique with a range of hats & fascinators for you to purchase.

From gorgeous, pink Kentucky Oaks fascinators, to striking, big Kentucky Derby hats and all different kinds of headpieces in between, we’ve got something for you! 

Kentucky Derby Hats by SHOW PONY Millinery

Looking for a Kentucky Derby Hat? We’ve got plenty of fun & original designer hats for you to choose from! 

Here at SHOW PONY Millinery we believe you shouldn’t need to spend a fortune to purchase an original, designer hat and so this Kentucky Derby season, we’re excited to let you know that almost all the hats, fascinators & headpieces in our online boutique are one-offs and will not be replicated (at least not in the same colours) until at least after the 2017 Kentucky Derby and Oaks.

This of course means that you’re highly likely to be getting a unique derby hat for the price of what many mass-produced hats (that every second girl will be wearing) cost.

All the hats you see online are in stock & currently, most are ready to dispatch to the post office within two working days.  What’s more, we put all our hats on trackable, international couriers – so you’ve still got plenty of time to get your order in.

Though with that said, given most of our hats are originals for this event, you might want to get cracking as your favourite might be gone if you decide to sleep on it!

View & shop our range of Kentucky Derby hats

Happy shopping ladies!


Kentucky Derby & Oaks Hats: Shipping deadlines

If you are looking to purchase a hat from us for the 2017 Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks, read on!

If delivery to the USA is required, we suggest ordering your headpiece by ABSOLUTELY NO LATER than Monday 24 April (the earlier, the better!) – which should hopefully mean you receive it by Thursday 4 April* – literally just one day prior to the Kentucky Oaks and two days before the Kentucky Derby.

EEK! That’s super tight timing! (You could always just buy your Kentucky Derby hat today & avoid all stress…)

Kentucky Derby & Kentucky Oaks Hats

Image by Danielle Colvin, c/- Avenues Magazine

At the time of publishing, the majority of our Kentucky Derby hats are ready to be dispatched to the post office within two working days. That time may extend the closer we get to the event date due to an increase in orders so keep an eye out in our online boutique where we will update hat processing times accordingly.

Once your hat has been dispatched, it takes roughly 5-7 working days to get to the United States, though this is not guaranteed by our postal service provider.

We use New Zealand Post’s international courier service to ship all our hats and they stress that 5-7 working day timeframe is a best estimate only and NOT a guarantee of delivery.

So by working back from that and assuming you have selected a headpiece that has a 2 working day dispatch period, the absolute latest we suggest placing your order with us is Monday 24 April 2017. From there, cross your fingers that there are no delays in the postal service! (It’s very rare, but it can and does happen).

* We cannot stress enough how important it is to purchase your headpiece well in advance of an event and that this cut-off date is the absolute final day we would ever suggest you purchase your hat by for the Kentucky Derby. We are not responsible for hats that are delayed or lost in the postal service. It is up to you as the purchaser to take any issue up with the shipping provider.


How To: Perfect the art of the Selfie

The Sydney Championships are here, the Kentucky Derby is imminent and Royal Ascot isn’t too far away…

…meaning tens of thousands of girls will be looking hot to trot at racecourses across the globe in coming months.

These SHOW PONY Millinery ladies clearly know how to take the perfect selfie

These friends of SHOW PONY Millinery have clearly perfected the art of the perfect selfie.

Here at SHOW PONY Millinery HQ, we’re anti-narcissism BUT when it comes to a horse racing event when you’ve spent many dollars & hours getting yourself raceday ready, we reckon it would probably be quite rude not to take a cheeky selfie.

So, as any one of the hundreds of wee cheekies you might take on raceday could well become your next Facebook / Tinder / Instagram profile photo (meaning they HAVE to be on point) and because who doesn’t love to procrastinate by reading something utterly irrelevant to the job that’s likely at hand, we’ve found you a quick refresher on how to make like the SHOW PONY you are & take the perfect selfie.

(No need to thank us, Kim Kardashian & Marie Claire magazine deserve all the glory for this one).

Enjoy ladies!


Kentucky Oaks 2017: What to wear to Kentucky’s ‘Ladies’ Day’

The Kentucky Oaks isn’t too far away so if you’re still wondering what to wear, the event’s dress code makes it super easy!

Racegoers attending the Kentucky Oaks on Friday 5 May 2017 are encouraged “to wear any color, as long as it is PINK“.

Easy peasy!

Why wear pink to the Kentucky Oaks though? 

Make a statement with a hot pink hat at this year's Kentucky Oaks

Our gorgeous client Rebecca rocking a pink SHOW PONY Millinery hat at the races

Churchill Downs, host of the Kentucky Oaks, wants attendees to rock out in their favourite pink bits – from hats, to sunnies, shoes, suits & dresses – in honour of the event’s official flower, the Stargazer Lily (as an aside, what a pretty name for a flower!), and in support of the racecourse’s partnership with Horses & Hope.

Horses & Hope’s basic mission is to increase breast cancer awareness, education, screening and treatment referral among Kentucky’s signature horse industry workers and their families, many of whom are uninsured and underserved.

Coming from a horse racing-mad family with two immediate members (one of us, plus Dad) not to mention the wider family group, as well as close friends, who have been diagnosed & treated for cancer… we think this is a fantastic cause & if we could get the time off making our hats, would be jumping on a plane, donning our hottest pink outfits & rocking out at this year’s Kentucky Oaks in support!

The race day also has a fashions in the field competition – the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest which, funnily enough, takes place on the Pink Carpet.  With a knock-out Longines time piece gifted to the competition’s winner,  we think it’s about time you stop reading this & start planning your PINK Kentucky Oaks outfit!

Need help sorting your Kentucky Oaks outfit? 

  • Pink hats – We’ve just launched some gorgeous / modern / fun / affordable & PINK Kentucky Oaks hats & headpiece in our online store
  • Pink dresses – Check out these pink styles from online retailer ASOS
  • Would-be fashion competitors – Learn more about the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion contest & remember, you get points for wearing pink!
  • Finally, don’t forget that big isn’t always best – Many of the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest winners don’t actually wear the traditional southern belle-type ‘big hats’, instead opting to wear something more akin to our usual headwear style which is generally a smaller headpiece or ‘fascinator’ (though we have just launched the more traditional, big Kentucky Derby style hats in our shop too!)


Royal Ascot 2017: Guidelines for Hats & Headpieces in the Royal Enclosure

Last year we were inundated with clients asking if we could translate Royal Ascot’s dress code with regards to hats & headpieces in the Royal Enclosure.

With Royal Ascot coming up from 20th – 24th June 2017, we thought it was high time for a quick refresher… 

SHOW PONY Millinery - Royal Ascot Dress Code.png

Royal Ascot’s Dress Code for the Royal Enclosure states that:

Hats should be worn; however a headpiece which has a base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat.

Fascinators are not permitted ; neither are headpieces which do not have a base covering a sufficient area of the head (4 inches / 10cm).


One of our gorgeous SHOW PONY Millinery clients literally flying the flag at Royal Ascot 2016

Without Ascot providing a specific definition as to what (in their eyes) constitutes a headpiece and fascinator, a little confusion has set in with a number of attendees – particularly those who will be attending the event for the first time – as to what the difference is between the two.

Based on our experiences of providing headpieces for clients to wear to the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot, and in keeping with the views of a number of high-profile milliners, our interpretation of their Dress Code is that Ascot defines a fascinator as any headpiece with a base measuring less than 4″ (10cms) in diameter.

SHOW PONY - India - Close up

With their 14cm diameter button bases, any of our ‘India’ designs are suitable for the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot 2017

So, if you are left wondering which of our designs meet the Royal Enclosure dress standard, ignore the descriptions if they say ‘fascinator’ or ‘headpiece’ and just look for anything in our online boutique that has a button (aka solid round) base – such as that pictured.

Why? All of our button bases have a diameter of approximately 14cm – 4cm more than the minimum requirement for a headpiece that can be worn in the Royal Enclosure.

We normally also include a short line against each listing, letting you know whether or not the headpiece would be suitable for the Royal Enclosure, but if in doubt – feel free to send us a message & ask!

In addition, all of our designs – whether they have a button base or attach with a headband or other means, meet the Dress Code requirements for both the Queen Anne and Windsor Enclosures.

Finally, we send all our headpieces via international trackable courier which typically take 5-7 working days to get to the UK (not including our processing times).

Happy shopping!


Kentucky Derby 2017: Hat Inspo #1

A sell-out style over the Southern Hemisphere summer, we’re stoked to announce we have launched our GIGI style to our northern counterparts, just in time for the Kentucky Derby on 6 May 2017.

Adorned with a crafted feather spray and available in a range of colours, this is a punchy, modern-style designer headpiece that is guaranteed to turn heads on course at Churchill Downs.

Pictured below is SHOW PONY Millinery friend & favourite Wilhelmina Shrimpton, who teamed a custom red GIGI with ASOS dress when she reported on Newshub’s 6pm news live from Ellerslie Racecourse in New Zealand.


Image c/- Ellerslie Races, shot by Norrie Montgomery

We have just released a replica of Wilhelmina’s headpiece but get in quick, there’s just the one like her and it’s unlikely we’ll produce another exact replica prior to the Kentucky Derby.


Image c/- Wilhelmina Shrimpton

View & purchase from a range of other GIGIs in our online boutique.

If you’re looking for a headpiece to wear in the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot and like our GIGI styles, you’ll be pleased to know that with a 14cm diameter base, they meet the requirements for headpieces that are can be worn in that area.


Media: SHOW PONY Millinery & Avenues Magazine

Generally the people you see on the cover of magazines are actors, sports stars or other such celebrities – so you can imagine our surprise waking up one day last year & seeing our ‘mugs’ on the cover of Avenues Magazine.

Here we were thinking there might be a small story on our activities in the lead up to New Zealand Cup & Show Week… not a double page feature along with cover shot featuring our family racehorse, ‘Mulberry’ (aka Fe)!  


With stories on our racing-mad father, regular jockey Racha & local legend Barbara Blackie, we SHOW PONIES felt humbled to have been included in what was the bumper official guide to New Zealand Cup & Show Week.

You can read the magazine here.

Thanks to Yvonne & the team at Avenues Magazine for making it all happen.

You guys rock!


Shot on location at Riccarton Racecourse – thanks to the team at Canterbury Racing along with our trainers, Neill & Margaret Ridley for the use of their stables & for turning out ‘Fe’ so well!




Racing 101: What To Wear To The Autumn Races

Ever wondered what to wear to autumn racing events? This short guide on autumn’s race wear ‘rules’ will hopefully help.

For those of us based in the Southern Hemisphere, autumn is fast-approaching and with the change in temperature, there’s a (slightly) different set of racewear guidelines for anyone wanting to attend some of the season’s major race days in style. 

Paris Fashion Week Fall 2016.jpg

From runway to racetrack – get inspired at the Paris Fashion Week’s upcoming Fall edition

  • Leave the strapless or singlet-strapped outfits at home & bring out your sleeves – not only will they keep you warm on these cooler days, they’re also part of the unwritten Autumn Racing Style Guide. Your favourite new season jacket or coat will also be your best friend as the sun goes down (or if it fails to turn up in the first place)
  • Likewise, leave your strappy or open-toed heels in the bottom of the wardrobe and instead trot out in something more season-appropriate. Something like a pump would fit in well on course, but you could go a little bolder and consider including a (stylish!) ankle boot in your race day look
  • You’d be best to leave your sinamay or straw headpiece in the hat box and instead opt for something made of felt or wool. Metal and leather (or our favourite ‘vegan leather’) also pass the autumn raceday fashionista test and can lend a more modern look to an outfit
  • Think about texture and what fabrics suit a cooler season – a wispy chiffon or light lace is probably better suited to spring or summer’s warmer temperatures.  If you’re entering a fashions in the field event, be aware that judges will award points based on coherence and thought put into an outfit, along with an acknowledgement of current trends.

Need inspiration?  Paris Fashion Week’s Autumn /Fall edition is running from 28 February – 8 March 2017 and, while those in the Northern Hemisphere will need to wait a number of months before getting to show off their take on the catwalk’s trends, if you’re living ‘down under’ you can start straight away!

Finally, don’t forget that getting dressed up for a day at the races is supposed to be FUN and all part of the journey & excitement of the magic that is racing – at the end of the day what really matters is how brightly your unicorn shines from within & the memories made from a day trackside with friends.