One of the highlights on Ripon Races season, Ladies’ Day is certainly up there with one of the Harrogate District’s social events of the summer and this year was no different as over 3500 people turned out for Thursday afternoons race meeting.
The day had a slight sporting distraction and it wasn’t the normal fanfare and glamour of Royal Ascot, who also host their Ladies’ Day the same day. With Roy Hodgson’s England team taking on Wales in the Euro 2016 group clash at 2pm, it was clear that a lot of Ripon’s loyal racegoers would be elsewhere cheering on the England. But the racecourse embraced the game and even had their own dedicated screen to show all the live action from the game, after all England is very patriotic about its football team. Although it did look like a lot of women did lose track of their ‘fellas’ for roughly around ninety minutes!
The day was a real mixture of sporting action and glamour, as over three hundred guests enjoyed the Racecourse’s VIP Hospitality Marquee and all other hospitality packages were sold out weeks before. The guests in the marquee enjoyed live music from duo ‘Frankly Jazz’ and were entertained before racing by magician to the stars ‘Paul Lytton’. They were then served a three course luncheon before afternoon tea after a buzz fizz reception on arrival.
On the track, Middleham trainer Mark Johnston started off the preceding’s with a winner under Franny Norton aboard ‘White Tower’ before completing a winning trainer/jockey double in the feature race of the day ‘ The Ladies Day Handicap’ with ‘Sailerais Mass’. One of the main highlights on the track was the 30th running of ‘The Beaumont Robinson Ladies’ Derby’, Ripon’s only race of the season for lady amateur riders. Beaumont Robinson, financial advisors based at Shipley, Bradford celebrated thirty years of sponsorship of the race with their annual staff outing. The race was won by Micky Hammond’s ‘Pertuis’ who also won the race back in 2014, winning lady rider Catherine Walton who works for Hammond based at Middleham, was thrilled to have won one of the main races in the racing calendar for lady riders.
As always, one of the main events of Ladies’ Day is the ‘Best Dressed’ and ‘Best Hat’ competitions. Over fifty ladies took part in the annual competition’s which were this year judged by, local Stray FM radio DJ Will Smith and Milliner Jenny Roberts. The team had the difficult job of selecting their final ten, before selecting the winner of the ‘Best Hat’ before the final three was whittled down to one lucky lady.
Daphne Corbin took the crown of ‘Ripon’s Best Hat’ with the stunning navy headpiece and in return received a private ‘Millinery Taster Course’ for herself and 3 friends at the studio of Harrogate Milliner Jenny Robert, where they will design and create a headpiece of their very own and be introduced to the spectacular world of making hats. In the ‘Best Dressed’ competition final it was local racegoer Michelle Metcalfe from Norwood, Harrogate who was crowned as ‘Ripon’s Best Dressed Lady 2016’ taking home the grand prize of £1500.
Michelle who was wearing a stunning dress by Eliza Wyke who is a dressmaker in Harrogate, shoes were from the bridal boutique in Harrogate and she had them and her handbag dyed to match her hat. Her gloves were from Catherine Smith Vintage.
Michelle will now go on to represent Ripon at the Yorkshire ‘Best Dressed Competition’ in October . The prizes for the overall winner includes a luxury two night break in a Spa Suite with treatments included at the Best Western Premier Mount Pleasant Hotel, Doncaster, an exquisite diamond ring, with a value of £2,500 courtesy of loveVintagediamonds.com and a £500 voucher for leading designer boutique Yasmine of Bawtry & Epworth.