Ellie Troutman has Derby planning down to a science, from attending the Barnstable Brown party to choosing the most appropriate footwear and fabulous accessories.


Ellie has been around horses all of her life. She was a trainer for 33 years and still shows Arabian and Ranch horses.

Today, she is the owner of Windy Meadows Equestrian Center, a horse farm where two movies starring Jon Voight, alongside Ellie’s horses, were filmed.

For years, Ellie has shared her love of horses by offering programming for underprivileged children who want to learn to ride.

In addition to her work with horses, Ellie is the author of The Tails of Windy Meadows, a children’s book about a day in the life at the farm as told by the horses. Her second book, Goodbye Horse, is due out soon. She is the owner of two shops in LaGrange — the boutique Absolutely Fabulous and a toy store, The Treasured Child.

Ellie’s seven things are sure to prepare you for the upcoming Derby season.

Photos by Sunni Wigginton 


1. DERBY SEASON BLUEPRINT
Ellie never takes on Derby season unprepared. For her, the season sometimes starts in late fall when she begins buying for her boutique. She lays out the entire season and plans accordingly using a combination of planner, sticky notes, and large desk calendar.


2. SIGNATURE JEWELRY PIECES
Ellie has several vintage equestrian jewelry pieces, including one from the late 1800s and another originating from Russia that she interchanges each season. She also relies on Kentucky artist Lee Parker of A Little Silver Lining to design pieces for both personal use and her boutique.



3. 12-INCH HANDBAG
For Ellie, no accessory is boring or expected. Beautifully detailed handbags like those designed by Mary Frances are Ellie’s go-to for Derby. “It starts a conversation because that’s what Derby is about. You have a long time between those races, maybe 20 or 30 minutes before a race goes off, so those conversation pieces are crucial.”



4. TINY, MINI MAKEUP
“I get my makeup done with Chanel or Dior and they will give you tiny samples of your makeup, and you can also make tiny samples yourself,” Ellie says. “A lot of women forget that you can only have a 12-inch bag at the track, so don’t waste your space trying to carry all of this stuff around.”




5. HAT, FASCINATOR, SPARKLY BALL CAP
“Every year I buy a hat, fascinator, and ball cap because sometimes you just get tired of wearing that great big hat and the fascinator is easier to deal with. By the end of the night I can pull my hair back and put on a sparkly, cute ball cap,” Ellie says.


6. SUNGLASSES
“It’s going to sound lame, but I love Gucci because it has the horse bit as part of its logo. I also like Chanel,” Ellie says. “They’re classic, and I deal in classic.”



7. TWO PAIRS OF SHOES
“I normally wear a pair of disposable flip flops all the way to where I’m going and then pitch them in the trash,” Ellie says.