THERE is something special about country race meetings that you just don’t get anywhere else, Racing NSW media executive Julieanne Horsman says.
As this year’s Country Championships qualifiers continue, the best of the horses and fashionistas will compete in eight rounds across the state before the final at Royal Randwick.
It's Tamworth Jockey Club's turn for a qualifier this Sunday while the finale is on Saturday, April 6.
And, while many think the on-track action is what racing is all about, former journalist, and now fashion queen of racing in the bush, Ms Horsman said there was much more.
“It’s a social event and it’s a sporting event and the good thing is it’s all held during the day,” she said.
“Everyone’s friendly and you can get a lot closer to the horses and it’s a nice relaxed atmosphere.
“You don’t have to be a real racing fan to enjoy a day at the track, you can come and socialise and it’s not all about betting."
Ms Horsman said country racing meetings often have live music, a jumping castle for the children and heaps more.
Ms Horsman is such a fan of racing that she confesses she has been to scores of different country meetings in NSW.
“There’s 117 country tracks in NSW and that is just for thoroughbred racing,” she said.
“So far I’ve been to 83, but it’s my life’s ambition to go to all of them.”
When it comes to fashion Ms Horsman said rules do apply, especially when you’re competing in Fashions on the Field events.
“Until the last day of February it’s still spring/summer rules which means lighter hats, straw, silk and lace,” she said.
“From March 1 we take on autumn/winter rules, so things like felt, leather, velvet and heavier fabrics.
“Pantone has just released their colour of the year and it’s coral so I expect to see a lot of that.”
Ms Horsman said Fashions on the Field competitors from across the state are expected to attend the Country Championships rounds.
“You just need to wear something that stands out … don’t just go to a shop and buy a hat, go and get a one-off piece made for you,” she said.
For further inspiration, Ms Horsman said women only needed to look towards Erin Holland and Jesinta Franklin (nee Campbell) for great styling.
Top five fashion tips
- Wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be in them all day
- Take cash
- If it’s hot, wear your hair up
- Wear something you love and you’re comfortable in
- Try and get a unique piece of millinery made from a local milliner