Saturday 20 January 2018

Tally-ho! Stylish start to Punchestown festival

Kerrie Nicole Blanc and Aoife Walsh promote the ‘Best Dressed Lady’ competition at
Punchestown race course
Kerrie Nicole Blanc and Aoife Walsh promote the ‘Best Dressed Lady’ competition at Punchestown race course
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

A record-breaking 110,000 race-goers will attend the grand finale of the jump season - the Punchestown Racing Festival.

A lot of champagne corks will be popped - approximately 3,100 bottles, 36 magnums and five jeroboams - and 121,500 pints will be poured over the course of the five-day festival, which kicks off today.

A host of familiar faces -including music mogul Louis Walsh, model Georgia Salpa and designer Catriona Hanly - will make appearances around the parade ring.

Recently-retired champion jockey AP McCoy will leave his jockey silks at home and enjoy "being a spectator" with his wife, Chanelle.

Meanwhile, model Rosanna Davison will act as opening day judge of The Gold Fever Best Dressed Lady Competition.

"It's going to be a seriously tough job choosing a winner," Davison said.

The winner of Tuesday's Best Dressed competition will return on Friday to compete against other stylish ladies selected over the opening four days.

Six different parades will be held during the five days, with 25 bands and DJs performing sets.

Bookmaker Paddy Power anticipates €22m will be wagered, with the festival contributing €62m to the local economy.

Saturday will be Family Day, with plenty of activities for children such as a 'Bouncy Kingdom' and a pet farm.

Irish Independent

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