The style stakes were at an ultimate high this weekend as avid fashion followers and racing enthusiasts from across the world put their best foot forward on both days of this year’s Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown Racecourse on Saturday 9th and The Curragh Racecourse on Sunday, 10thSeptember.
Among the racegoers who turned out to enjoy the thrill of Ireland’s most prestigious racing event were Style Ambassador to the weekend Pandora McCormick, fashion designer Louise Kennedy, Champion Stylist and Prize for Elegance judge, Ingrid Hoey and top fashion, beauty & lifestyle blogger, Rosie Connolly. On Sunday, Editor of Irish Country Magazine, Jennifer Stevens along with fellow judges Ingrid Hoey, Champion Stylist, Kate Harrington and Laura Marshall of David Marshall Hair Salon had the task of selecting the Most Elegant Lady and Gentleman from the huge turnout of well-dressed racegoers.
This year the Longines Prize for Elegance competition had a prize fund of over €25,000 to be won across the weekend:
Most Elegant Lady
On Saturday, the title of Most Elegant Lady in Leopardstown was awarded to Eva Hayes from Limerick who wore a tailored black dress by Phoenix V and a statement headpiece by Carol Kennelly Millinery. Eva claimed a stunning Longines timepiece from their latest collection, a spending spree at Louise Kennedy’s Merrion Square HQ and a luxurious penthouse stay at the 5* Merrion hotel.
Sunday’s Most Elegant Lady Laura Hanlon from Sligo wore an elegant peplum Phoenix V dress paired with a Niamh O’Neill coat and a stunning handmade headpiece. Laura walked away with a classic Longines timepiece from their latest collection, a €3K spending spree voucher from Kildare Village as well as receiving a year’s complimentary hairdressing at the David Marshall Hair Salon to the value of €2k.
Most Elegant Gentleman
In Leopardstown on Saturday, Donnacha Anhold from Sligo was named Most Elegant Gentleman wearing a stylish check Magee blazer and burgundy trousers from House of Fraser. Donnacha was awarded a visit to master tailor Louis Copeland where he will be suited and booted from head to toe, along with a Longines timepiece and luxurious penthouse stay at The Merrion.
The Most Elegant Gentleman at The Curragh, Christopher Hegarty from Killyman, Co Tyrone, paired a sharp Mulish Menswear blazer with Pearly King waistcoat and trousers and handmade Imashi leather shoes. Christopher also received a Longines timepiece, a €2K spending spree voucher from Kildare Village and a voucher for the David Marshall Hair Salon.
In addition to the Longines Prize for Elegance, Leopardstown Racecourse also staged the Champion Hat Competition sponsored by Moët & Chandon on Saturday 9th which was claimed by Gillian Duggan from Galway with her show stopping self-designed creation. Gillian won a luxurious weekend stay for two in the 5-star Dylan Hotel, Dublin along with a jeroboam of Moët & Chandon.
Now in its 4th year, Longines Irish Champions Weekend attracted some the world’s finest racehorses and jockeys to compete for €4.6 million in prize-money over the two days. Decorated Knight, trained by Roger Charlton became the sixth consecutive overseas-trained winner of the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday, whilst Aidan O'Brien’s Order Of St George put last year’s shock defeat in the race behind him when storming to a nine-length success in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger at the Curragh on Sunday.
The Longines Irish Champions Weekend is the first leg of a European Triple Crown of championship meetings leading into the QATAR Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting at Longchamp in early October and QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot two weeks later.