Country Racing – Yass Picnic Races

Yass picnic races was literally that – a picnic at the races. This is one of the very few racetracks where you actually BYO everything for a day at the races.

Country Racing – Kangaroo Island Racing Carnival

A few weeks ago our ACT Ambassador Sally Martin, was invited by her younger sister to attend the Sealink Kangaroo Island racing carnival as her plus one. Sally grew up in Adelaide and said she would take any opportunity to visit family and friends, especially when it turns into a 5 day mumcation.

Held on 14-16 February, it offers two days of racing, Fashions on the Field with the Races SA regional competition and a celebration of Kangaroo Island’s best food and wine. What more could a girl want!  Suffice to say Sally eagerly accepted her sister’s plus one invitation!

Sally’s sister works for the Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge and they were delighted to be their guests. Sally commented “It was such a lovely spot to stay.  Can’t praise the restaurant,  Reflections enough as the food was incredible.  We also partook in some local wines and bubbles which was also just as wonderful. Needlessness to say, we were certainly spoilt over the two days”.

Little did they know, they were both guests of Sealink, and that meant they were also part of the Long Lunch. There is nothing more special than a tray full of bubbles greeting you at the entrance to your marquee! With an Australian themed marquee, the girls were all set for a day of fashion, food and fun – and the races, of course!!!

Sally also surprised herself with her betting knowledge and managed to backed a number of winners on the day. Maybe it had something to do with the “Dudley Bubbly” from Dudley winery she was drinking! Suffice to say – the food, wine and other guests were all so delightful.  Sally goes on to say, she had the most amazing time. Being able to spend quality time together with her sister and play ‘dress ups’ was all two girls could want.

The two girls thought they would even give Fashions on the Field a go which had a number of categories and quite a few entrants.

Our gorgeous Sally managed to take out the runner up in the best dressed category winning some great prizes.  Included in her goodies bag was accommodation and ferry ride back to Kangaroo Island, so Sally is already booking in to return next year for their 2020 racing carnival.

With so much to see and do on Kangaroo Island including the local produce, wineries, breweries and distilleries – it certainly makes a trip to Kangaroo Island well worth a visit.  Be prepared to be enticed to sample all they produce – and that will be more than once!


Words by Sally Martin


Country Racing – Welcome Home!!!

Last weekend, our WA Ambassador Stacey Reynolds headed to her home town for her annual race day meeting.  We asked Stacey to take us through what it is that makes this day so special.

Growing up in Waroona, a small country town 15 minutes from Pinjarra Park, Stacey and her family loved their outings to the races. As Stacey grew up these race days became even more important to her – it was a way to catch up with old friends and family that she had not seen in ages. In a country town like Pinjarra, a big race day literally brings the town to a halt with everyone heading to the track for a day of fun, laughter & hopefully a few wins!

Racegoers: Aimee Holmes, Philippa Kupsch, Susan McCloy, Bernadette May, Stacey Reynolds & Sarah Christie

Pinjarra Park without a doubt, is Western Australia’s most picturesque racecourse. Its huge array of shady trees and expansive lawns provide the perfect atmosphere for a great day at the races, and for Stacey, the Magic Millions WA Race Day held at Pinjarra Park is one date she has penciled into her calendar every year!

Stacey’s excitement was building up for weeks. She had booked a small shade gazebo through the race club, as all her gorgeous friends were coming and she had the perfect outfit planned (an amazing dress from a West Australian Label, Only One Ashley and a custom made head piece from Love Lotus Millinery). As she had moved away from the area 12 months ago, (to approx. 10hrs north of Pinjarra) the prospect of heading home filled her with sheer joy.

Stacey Reynolds photo credit WA Fashions on the Field

I could not wait to have that race book in one hand and a glass of bubbly in the other Stacey said.

The countdown was on!

Not only was the race day part of the Magic Millions, a series of two races that showcases the rich prize money on offer for graduates of Magic Millions yearling sales in WA, it was the WA Country Cups Peel Fashion On The Field Heat for the Peel Region. WA Country Cups is an initiative by Racing and Wagering WA to foster the development and promote the longevity of country racing across the State. It is a state-wide racing fashion competition, open to fashionistas from all over Western Australia, and consists of nine regional heats held at major country race meetings across WA. The winner of each regional heat receives a trip to Perth and is invited to compete in the WA Fashions on the Field Final to be held at Ascot Racecourse in November. The then overall winner will take home a trip for two to London to attend Royal Ascot plus $10,000 spending money and a $5,000 Linneys jewellery voucher!!

Photo credit: WA Fashions on the Field

Wowee!! To win a prize like that would be a dream come true. For a country girl like Stacey, this is about as exciting as it gets, so she made it a point to try and attend as many of these regional heats as she can.

I am just so passionate about country racing as I not only believe it plays a vital role in the sustainability of the racing industry across WA but it also has an important role in the economic, cultural and social development of our local communities. I have seen first hand what these race days can bring to a country town, weather it be the from race goers booking accommodation and boosting the tourism industry or supporting local fashion or retail outlets in preparation for a big day at track Stacey said.

The day finally arrives!

The weather gods had shined on the town  and it was a beautiful, sunny day. With a huge crowd attending Stacey  was once again glad she  had booked a shade gazebo for our group. The day was a whirlwind of bets (everyone you talk to at a country race meet has a tip that’s sure to win), fashion, bubbles and friends. Everything Stacey loved about the races. The gorgeous Bernadette May took out first prize for the FOTF competition wearing a striking printed, pleated skirt and her own self made millinery.

Bernadette May & David Houston

Stacey was fortunate enough to be invited into the Magic Millions marquee and had a chance to speak to Barry Bowditch, the Australian Managing Director. Barry spoke of how the Australian Racing Industry has the most progressive racing industry in the world. As only here in Australia was the racing industry so accessible for people to become involved, weather it be as an owner, trainer or simply a race goer. It was fascinating to talk racing with him and discuss the vital role the racing industry can play in bringing vibrancy to a small community. Stacey was interested as why Pinjarra Park (her “home” track) had been chosen as the venue to host Magic Millions in WA. David Houston, the WA manager for Magic Millions explained that Pinjarra Park provided everything Magic Millions was looking for in relation to a picturesque venue and proximity for local stables and race goers travelling to the event.

Jenine Harrison & Sharon Sinclair

So, if you are looking for somewhere special to spend the day with your family, a place to go on your holiday or just an escape from the city, experience the excitement of horse racing at this beautiful country racecourse that is Pinjarra Park.

As a Thoroughbred Events Australia Ambassador for Western Australia, I intended to bring to you my passion for country racing and country racing fashion. WA is a hugely diverse state and I can’t wait to show you all the amazing events it has to offer  Stacey concluded.

What a fabulous story and we look forward to hearing more exciting stories about Country Racing in WA


Country Racing – Braidwood Jockey Club

Our ACT Ambassador Sally Martin, headed to Braidwood Jockey Club once a year race meeting to enjoy a day at the races with her family.

Located in the southern tablelands of NSW – about 200 kilometres south west of the Central Business District of Sydney and approximately 60 kilometers inland from the coast.

This one race meeting was regarded as “Girls Day Out” but now it looks like it should be changed to “Family Day Out”.

We catch up with Sally to hear all about it.

What is it you love about this race day?

I love a day out at the races, choosing an outfit, catching up with friends, having a few champagnes and hopefully a win or two on the horses. It’s not often that I take my family with me as not all race tracks cater for children.

What is different about Braidwood Jockey Club’s race day?

Braidwood Jockey Club managed to create a welcoming, family friendly environment where they had the most extensive list of FOTF categories for children. I took great delight in organising everyone’s outfit, even doing flat lays! (laying every outfit out to see it all come together)

My children were happy enough to enter and even received lolly bags for their efforts. I’m pretty sure Oliver ate his before getting off the stage!

It was really lovely to be able to spend the day together in such a safe and relaxed environment. Usually there’s a jumping castle but the strong winds prevented this happening. But my kids didn’t seem to mind, being able to run around freely, look at those horses in their stables and get really close to the action of the horse racing.  It certainly kept them amused.

Though we didn’t all receive sashes (just me), it was a great day for making memories. And maybe a quick stop at the Braidwood bakery on the way home was prize enough!

Winner of the Day – Stephanie Kwong

Country Racing – Hot to Trot at Temora Harness Racing

Hot to trot at Temora harness racing was a blast. It sure ticked the list of everything my daughter and I needed for a weekend away together. Apart from the range of FOTF categories, there was plenty of entertainment on hand for the kids.

I also met some lovely ladies from the Riverina area and had a chat about what they like about racing and FOTF. Veronike Hartmeier and Sarah Lavelle both from Temora are actually really good friends with Sarah lending an outfit to her friend who ended up winning the local category. What a great friend, supporting her, as it was Veronike’s first time entering.

Tegan, from Wagga, is a diesel mechanic and dressage enthusiast who came along with her friend Meg, also involved with harness racing. Both ladies enjoy the opportunity to dress up and have fun with friends and family at the races.

Emilie and I had such a great time together and the event was very family friendly. There were so many categories for FOTF, catering for everyone.

Local Category

Under 6

Under 13

Under 30

I don’t have a photo of the over 30 category as that was my category which I was lucky enough to win. I was then picked as the overall winner. Suffice to say I was both surprised and delighted. My outfit was a dress I had made from recycled fabric, shoes from op shop, olga berg clutch on sale, earrings from Facebook marketplace and my hat was repurposed from an old straw hat.

I thoroughly enjoy country racing and exploring these little towns in NSW. It was a great night out and weekend away.

Country Racing – A Fashion’s Tale, Gosford

We would like to tell a tale of a picnic race meeting where it was all FUN in the fashion arena.  

Set the scene:  all the professional fashions on the field girls had headed to Melbourne in their most exquisite outfits – polished from head to toe.  An understated race club called The Entertainment Grounds put on a day filled with “what a girl needs” – hair, makeup, jewelled cups to put in your champagne and where you could even make your own flora headpiece.  There was no excuse not to look your best. 


Every hospitality area was sold out – function rooms and marquees.  What set this day apart was the first time Sharon Lenton as MC and assistant coordinator had seen the fashion stage become a dance floor.  

The band was amazing nd boy, did they get the men and women dancing to the stage and on the stage. Just as well we didn’t have a ceiling!!!! 

“I have never enjoyed my role as MC as much as this day.  Everyone was in such a party mood and with the best music in the background we were all grooving!!!”  Said Sharon. 

The general atmosphere of the day was relaxed and the crowd needed no encouragement to come out to the lawn area and participate in the very lively fashions on the field.

With over $6,000 in prizes, the locals were beside themselves to take out the titles – it was truly ecstatic to watch.  

The judges sipped (thank you to our ongoing supporter – Debortoli) while deciding winners from the largest number of entrants to date.  

No event is possible without our sponsors so a huge thank you for your ongoing support. Thank you to: Lendlease Erina Fair, Polo by the Sea, Milk & Honey, Thoroughbred Events Australia, Kathleen Mobile Millinery, the Entertainment Grounds, Lauren Alyce Floral Design, Emirates, North Sydney Harbourview Hotel, the Australian Turf Club, Glitz Coasters, Debortoli, Sephora and Sage Cafe.

The tale ends with so many princesses – dressed in their best attire complete with crowns – just having a fun filled day with their friends. 

The central coast was certainly a royal playground.


Country Racing – Illawarra Turf Club

There’s nothing like a day at the races! As NSW’s premier racecourse south of Sydney, Kembla Grange Racecourse is the perfect blend of charm, sophistication & affordability.

The Illawarra Turf Club is a thoroughbred racecourse that conducts 30 meetings per year at it’s Kembla Grange site.  The meetings attract in excess of 65,000 patrons per year and generates employment for 30 permanent staff and up to 150 casual employees each meeting.

With a train station located directly across the road from the Racecourse, access could not be easier.

Introducing Illawarra Turf Club’s Board of Directors

  • Barry Vandenbergh – Chairman
  • Matt Howlin – Vice Chairman
  • Paul Mack – Treasurer
  • Tony Stephen – Director
  • Ross Farrell – Director
  • Ian Millward – Director
  • Ross Kennedy – Director

Chief Executive Officer – Peter De Vries

Let’s go Country Racing!!!!

Produced by Hannah Brooks


Country Racing – Girls Day Out/Nowra Cup Day

The picturesque drive to Nowra took around 2 hours from west Sydney as Thoroughbred Events Australia headed to Shoalhaven City Turf Club to host the Fashions on the Field (FOTF) which was coordinated by Brooke Strathan. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_media_grid grid_id=”vc_gid:1527581905402-9a729997-1aae-4″ include=”5504″][vc_column_text] Not only were we there for fashions but to also cheer on two of Sharon’s gorgeous horses […]

Country Racing Exclusive – Advice for a Winning Style, Andrea Baker

Just around the corner is the start of the Biggest NSW Country Two Day Racing Carnival.  This carnival has it all from cocktail parties – to a Calcutta – to great country racing and hospitality.  But this story is to focus on the glamour that descends on Scone – the style and grace of Fashions on the Field.

This year we are so privileged to have Andrea Baker as Scone Cup Carnival’s Ambassador.  Andrea has a style of her own, she drips in glamour, has a poise that is demure yet gracious and … knows horses.

Married to one of Sydney’s leading horse trainer Bjorn Baker, Andrea certainly adds to the success of this outstanding racing stable.  Clients are so important and Andrea knows how to make her clients feel important and involved.

But this carnival Andrea takes on a new role – one that she is excited to own.  We let you in on a little inside of trading (wink wink) so you have the opportunity to know Andrea’s thoughts with regards to the fashion stakes.

When asked, what are you looking for in a winning outfit? Andrea replies:
“Overall I’m looking for stylish and effortless beauty in a racewear outfit. I try to follow the iconic and impeccably stylish Coco Chanel’s advice to look in the mirror and take one thing off before you leave the house.  Sometimes you can do a great disservice to what would be a great outfit by overcooking it.  Overly matchy matchy is only very pleasing to the eye for a few people, and it’s important that there is a certain fluidity to the look.  It’s the unexpected combinations that excite me.  Some of the best looks I’ve seen are with combinations I wouldn’t have chosen myself, but totally work.  For example, the softness, flow and femininity of a silk frock juxtaposed by a structured, striking headpiece.  I love quality millinery – sometimes less is more with regards to embellishments.
I really would like to place an emphasis on weather and season appropriate racewear (no goosebumps or purple toes).  I’d like to see an element of current fashion, whether colour or style or silhouette.  Having said that, I still want to be able to see you’ve dressed for raceday.  A more lady-like look is required for Best Dressed Woman, a more daring look for Contemporary. At the end of the day it boils down to whether an outfit excites me and makes me say “yes” or drops my jaw.”

Wow, I could not have said that better myself.  Andrea will be an excellent Ambassador and fashion judge.

Head to Scone this weekend commencing Thursday night for an up close and personal appearance with Andrea (and her handsome husband, Bjorn) at our cocktail party.  This party kicks off at 5pm at the Belmore Hotel. On Friday and Saturday,  Andrea will not only be entertaining her clients but will be in the fashion area to judge and sash the fashion winners.

We thank Andrea for her time and good advice for what will surely be a difficult fashions on the field to judge.[vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”5236,5237,5238,5239,5240,5241″ css_animation=”zoomIn”][/vc_column]

Words by Sharon Lenton, Photos from Andrea Baker 

Country Racing – Sharon’s Passion Grows – Winning Post Article

It is with pride we showcase an article from today’s Winning Post paper. Just when you think “what do you have to do to get acknowledgement” – then along comes the Winning Post, a prominent racing paper who grabbed Sharon’s story. It is not just for recognition for Sharon’s outstanding work for country racing but […]