With the arrival of the summer months, it is the season to plan an outfit, grab a racing post and head to the racecourse. Doncaster is lucky enough to host Yorkshire’s most important fixture and the World’s Oldest Classic race, the William Hill St Leger Stakes, as part of a four day festival which kicks off on 13 September. Each year we welcome over 60,000 racegoers to Town Moor and dedicate the whole of Thursday to the Ladies. Our 2016 Ladies Day best dressed event, sponsored by DFS, offered participants the chance to win a trip to New York along with a magnum of champagne, two memberships to the racecourse and a whole host of other superb prizes. The runners-up were not disappointed either, with more champagne up for grabs along with over £1000 worth of vouchers.
Last year’s top prize went the way of local lady Maria Gledhill, a school administrator from Rossington. Maria, who was attending Ladies Day for the first time, hadn’t intended to enter the competition until she was approached by a scout. ‘I was approached by two ladies from Chique boutique who asked me if I’d like to enter and I thought “why not?’’ I knew the winner won a trip to New York and some other prizes, I was excited to be in with a chance’. Maria was one of 10 finalists chosen by the racecourse and the event sponsors; with the final placings in the hands of title sponsor DFS. Not only was Maria crowned the overall winner, her close friend placed third in the event making the day a real cause of celebration amongst the group. ‘My favourite part of the day (except winning) has to be that my friend Kerry was also asked to enter the competition and she came third, we had some lovely photos taken together and when we got back to our friends we had a great time celebrating.’
Speaking to the racecourse about the top prize, Maria told us how she and her husband chose to take the New York trip just before Easter. ‘We flew with British Airways and stayed at the New York Edition hotel just off Madison Square Park. Whilst we were there we did all the sightseeing – Statue of Liberty, 911 memorial, Times Square, views from the top of the Empire state building, Central park and of course some shopping at Macy’s. We had an amazing time!
On the topic of this year’s style stakes, Maria offered a valuable piece of advice to potential successors, ‘I just came for the day out with my friends in an outfit I loved. I did have my hair and makeup professionally done and I think that makes you look and feel glamorous’. This encapsulates the spirit of Ladies Day; it is a day where the women of Yorkshire and beyond can revel in the opportunity to dress in a way that makes them feel fantastic. There is world-class racing on the track and incredible prizes for the taking; it really is all to play for!