Sunday 20 October 2019

Stylish, not sexist, say the ladies on their big day at horse show

Adrianna McNamee and Victoria Corr enjoy their day at the show. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Adrianna McNamee and Victoria Corr enjoy their day at the show. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Catherine Page from Carlingford, Co Louth, mingles with the crowd. Photos: Gerry Mooney
Paralympic dressage rider Verity Smith Photos: Gerry Mooney
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Ladies Day is a democratic affair at the Dublin Horse Show. You don't wait demurely for the tap on the shoulder - you just stride right up and put yourself forward.

Any suggestions of sexism at the event were laughed off by this crowd.

They were ladies, loud and proud.

The arrival of Eddie Macken sparked fond memories from 40 years ago, of his second of three successive Aga Khan triumphs.

He now trains many youngsters, including Eugenio Garza on the Mexican team and who said Eddie's best tip was to "stay off the Guinness".

"Eddie Macken is a legend and to come here where he competed is very special," said Eugenio.

Every day is Ladies Day for the all-female USA show-jumping team who will provide tough competition for the home side in the Aga Khan competition today.

Asked if there was anything different about competing as an all-women team, member Laura Kraut shrugged.

"We're so used to it - it's not a phenomenon like it is in Europe," she said.

But style was the main event yesterday.

One of the first up on stage was 97-year-old Betty Edwards from Terenure in Dublin, proudly clutching a newspaper from five years ago, which had a picture of her on the front page as one of the Ladies Day finalists.

This time, Betty was wearing a fetching rain bonnet, bedecked with yellow plastic daisies and which she explained she had bought in America five years ago.

"I was always fond of style," said Betty.

Just off night duty, midwife Sarah Cass had just an hour's sleep but was a picture of elegance in red, with a dress by Jennifer Wrynne, hat by Philip Treacy and carried a Lulu Guinness lips clutch. "I loved style from the moment I was in nappies," said Sarah.

For paralympic dressage rider Verity Smith, being up on stage was a novel affair.

Usually in the ring, having represented Britain in the Paralympics, Verity is hoping to represent France in the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020 - but has taken a year out of training because her beloved horse is very ill.

She is now on the look out for the perfect replacement but explained: "It's worse than looking for a husband."

Horse-riding has given her a sense of freedom, she said.

And although blind, she explained she also loves style, pointing out the embossed flower print on her fresh citrus-coloured Paul Costelloe dress.

For Mari Pold, originally from Estonia but now living in Dublin, "leftovers" in the form of some duck egg blue fabric, pink decorative flowers and her first ever hat scooped her the prestigious Longines Elegance is an Attitude prize.

Most Creative Hat was won by Helen Murphy, Douglas in Cork, for her cerise pink hat.

Dapper in blue, Florin Tamas won the prize for most suitably attired man.

His first time at the horse show, he said that it was a treat to celebrate his 15th wedding anniversary.

Best Dressed Lady was Deirdre Kane from Ballinabranna, Co Carlow, supremely elegant in cream.

Irish Independent

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