Sunday 25 January 2015

Best-dressed lady 'glad she left wellies at home'

Published 10/02/2014 | 02:30

Best Accessory winner Marie Osborne, left, and Best Dressed Lady winner Louise Allen, right, at the Hennessy Gold Cup in Leopardstown. Judges included Caroline Sleiman, centre.
Winner Louise Allen from Meath, finalists Sinead Bohan from Leitrim, Laura Mitchell from Dublin, Suzie Macadam from Limerick and best accessory winner Maria Osborne from Kildare at the Hennessy Gold Cup best dressed lady 2014 competition.

A DECISION to leave the wellies at home landed one racegoer the Best Dressed Lady prize.

Louise Allen (31), from Slane, Co Meath, was glad she decided to turn up the style stakes as she won the coveted accolade on Hennessy Gold Cup day at Leopardstown yesterday.

"I am usually at racing events wearing a pair of wellies but the sun was out so I thought I'd get my glad rags on," she told the Irish Independent.

"I'm glad I did."

Jackie Onassis and a lesser-known style icon, her mother, Therese Allen, were the inspiration behind Ms Allen's winning ensemble.

"My mum and Jackie O were my inspiration," she said. "I love that 60s look, I think it's really classy."

Ms Allen caught the judges' eye in a bright tangerine coat with a bold black fur trim she had purchased online.

It was a week full of wins for Ms Allen, as her partner Simon Hales had struck gold earlier in the week when his horse Eastern Rules won the Thoroughbreds Handicap 95-105 in Dubai.

"It all feels a bit mad at the moment," Ms Allen said. "It's been a week of wins and celebrating that's for sure. I don't think either of us have got our heads around it yet."

Ms Allen was presented with a €7,000 Harvey Nichols voucher and a bottle of Hennessy cognac.

Canadian fashion designer Tara Jarmon was on hand to judge the competition and said Ms Allen's statement coat and Jennifer Wrynne hat was a winning combination.

"I was looking for somebody who was elegant, but understated," Ms Jarmon said. Fellow judge Caroline Sleiman of Moet-Hennessy was also a fan of the look.

"Louise was dressed for the weather and she looked so happy to be there," she said.

"I really wanted to see somebody who went all the way in terms of their hat and head piece and gloves."

Maria Osborne from Kildare was the winner of the best accessory, which was was selected by shoe designer Lucy Choi.

There were plenty of familiar faces in the stands soaking up the atmosphere. Model Rosanna Davison and her fiance Wesley Quirke were joined by Rosanna's father Chris de Burgh.


Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary was in flying form after his horse Last Instalment won the Hennessey Gold Cup, while the crowd were out for a look at some of the horses destined for the famous Cheltenham track.

"It was another memorable Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown today," said Pat Keogh, CEO.

"We are already looking forward to the 25th running of the Hennessy Gold Cup."

Irish Independent

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