Hats and high heels steal the show

MEN of all ages were the most excited people in Ballybrit yesterday, and it wasn’t the horses that got them going.

Ladies Day always brings out wildly contrasting skirt lengths and skin tones, and this year was no different. Gasps of disapproval could be heard as women, and even some men, commented on just how inappropriately attired some of the younger ladies were.

That, accompanied with some seriously dodgy skin colours, ensured Ladies Day was progressing as per usual.

Taxis and buses were the prime form of transport for scores of women who disembarked with high heels in hand ready for a hard day of looking good. The recession may have meant buses now vastly outnumbered helicopters at Ballybrit, but it didn’t stop the champagne tent from doing huge business.

One man who was enjoying the plush surroundings of the champagne tent was musician, Chris de Burgh.

With his daughter Rosanna Davison running late for the festival, he did what any father would do; fly her to the ball in his private helicopter.

“I flew down from my house earlier today, which sounds terrible. I have a co-pilot here with me. It’s my first time here and I have to say the glamour is sensational,” he said.

The musician, who comes from a keen racing background, felt there were better ways to lose money than betting on the nags.

“I used to be an owner and then I came up with a better way of losing money and that was digging a hole in the garden, throwing some money in and burning it. My mother was actually a breeder, believe it or not, and she used to name horses after some of my songs,” said de Burgh.

Sitting alongside Chris was his model daughter, former Miss World Rosanna, who said she was down for a girls’ night out on the town.

“I was planning on getting up early and driving down but that didn’t happen so Dad stepped in and provided the transport, which is great. It’s my first time here. I have heard it gets pretty crazy here so we may have a civilised night yet,” she said.

Rosanna also said she planned to return to college in October to further her education on a part-time basis.

While hats and high heels were the order of the day for most women, a group of Mullingar ladies were drawing huge attention from a clutch of photographers, both professional and amateur. Taking a somewhat alternative take on the day, the five-piece were kitted out in sailors’ uniforms, much to the delight of the male populace.

The ladies were actually part of a cabaret act called Glamedy, who are due to perform at Electric Picnic on the Saturday evening.

“We are a cabaret act mixed with some comedy. We are performing at Electric Picnic this year, which is great. We will be singing and dancing and we have two lads with us that do some comedy,” said chief sailor, Jan Lindsay.

With them were their two male sidekicks, in drag. Named Dandelion and Buttercup, they weren’t the only pair dressed in drag. Another pair of drag queens, Davina Devine and Victoria Secret, were posturing furiously, hoping to make the cut for Best Dressed Lady. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t make the grade.

One local punter was so engrossed in the cabaret girls that he was furiously trying to call his mates away from the betting ring.

“Jesus, sure this is a far better view than a load of bloody horses,” he quipped.

Definitely Ladies Day then.


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