Glamour, sophistication and socialising are all synonymous with a day at the races, but it is ramped up when it comes to Ladies Day.
Each of the nine racecourses in Yorkshire will be offering superb prizes for their Best Dressed Lady. The first competition is at Wetherby on Thursday, May 30 and they continue across Yorkshire throughout the summer before the final Ladies Day at Doncaster on Friday, September 13.
These are exciting days when everyone gets the chance to dress to impress and, uniquely in Yorkshire, all nine winners are invited to attend a Grand Final at Doncaster on Saturday, October 26 where they and their guest will be wined and dined in a private box for the day as well as having the chance to be crowned Go Racing In Yorkshire’s Best Dressed Lady 2019.
In addition to the title, the winner will take home a diamond ring worth £2,000 from loveVintageDiamonds.com, a two-night spa break at the Best Western Mount Pleasant Hotel and a £500 clothing voucher from new sponsor, Incognito.
So just what do you wear for Ladies Day? For Malton racehorse trainer Ruth Jefferson, choosing an outfit on a normal race day is fairly standard.
“I had 15 pairs of the same brand of black trousers at the last count,” said Ruth, when asked how she plans what to wear for the races. “Being practical is a must, there’s no point wearing a skirt that’s too tight for me to leg the jockey up!”
However, when it comes to special occasions like Ladies Day, Ruth who took over the training licence from her late father Malcolm, admits she needs a bit of help.
After an invite to Royal Ascot last year was followed up with a social media post along the lines of, “Can I wear trousers to Royal Ascot? Mum says no but I haven’t got a dress,” it was evident a spot of shopping was required!
Like all trainers, Ruth puts the needs of the horses and staff before herself and while she likes to keep an eye on the fashion scene, having the time to follow it up comes way down the ‘to do’ list.
“I need to be smart yet comfortable and able to work. It’s a balance between being able to be hands on with the horses but presentable to the owners and in the racecourse enclosures. I only wear white trousers if we’re running a grey!” Ruth added.
Just what to wear is an age-old problem for female racegoers, but fashion boutique, Incognito can certainly come up with the answer. The business which is now based in Bawtry has been in existence for over 30 years and has a keen racing clientele.
“Doncaster racecourse is just up the road and both my sister and I are regular attendees” said Jackie Reynolds, joint partner.
“We stock collections from very well-known designer brands, plus we are always careful to guide clients as we know that friends will be attending the same social events and don’t want to be wearing the same dress as someone else. Our personal service also helps to mitigate any fashion faux pas!” she added.
The boutique has a range of styles for all tastes and the sisters have an eye for knowing what will suit clients as soon as they walk through the door. With so much variety and expert guidance, finding the perfect outfit for Ladies Day will not be a problem.
Jackie and her sister Bernie took on the challenge of kitting out Ruth in garments that are both practical and stylish and did so with fantastic results.
“I live in jodhpurs and a fleece, so it’s really nice to be pushed out of my comfort zone. I’ve worn things at Incognito that I wouldn’t normally pick up in a shop and I’m pleasantly surprised by the outcome!” said Ruth, who also put herself in the hands of students from the White Rose College of Beauty for her hair and make-up.
“I definitely look younger and must try harder on a daily basis,” she joked when she saw the final result.
However, it wasn’t all about work as Jackie and Bernie prepared a glamorous look for Ruth and her mum Sue in readiness for their annual trip to York’s Ebor meeting in August, when Ladies Day is on Thursday, August 22.
“We’ve always loved going to York,” said Sue, “it’s a fantastic racecourse and it comes at a time when we are less busy at home so can relax and enjoy ourselves among colleagues and friends”.
While the outfits are the main focus of attention it is the accessories that enhance the detail. The winner of the Best Dressed Lady Final will have the perfect accompaniment as she sports a glistening 1920’s vintage ring made of 18 carat white gold from loveVintageDiamonds.com.
The two-stone twist crown is set with oval, cushion-shaped, rose-cut diamonds of the period and the total diamond weight is approximately 0.70 carats with a value of £2,000!
The winner will be able to tie in their trip to Incognito with a two night stay in a Spa Suite at the Best Western Mount Pleasant Hotel, a stay which includes champagne and home-made chocolates produced by the hotel’s own chocolatier on arrival, dinner with wine in the newly-refurbished Brassiere Artisan from the Table D’Hote menu, a full English breakfast on both days as well as a luxury fruit basket and Espa gift bag.
Helen McIlroy, of the Mount Pleasant Hotel said, “Given our proximity to Doncaster Racecourse we regularly have owners and trainers staying with us for the races or the sales and like to offer them some high-end luxury, whether their visit is for pleasure or for work purposes. It’s fitting that we should be able to offer something similar to Go Racing In Yorkshire’s Best Dressed Lady.”