Heels over hooves for Ladies Day at Punchestown

Forget about the bookies and the nags, the thunder of hooves and the cheers of punters.

There was only one real winner at the 2015 Punchestown Festival yesterday and she didn’t have to jump a single fence.

It was Ladies Day, a feast of fashion and an afternoon of style that brought the only ray of sunshine to make up for the rain as Blaithin Dunleavy from Naas, Co Kildare, was announced as this year’s Best Dressed Lady.

Heels over hooves for Ladies Day at Punchestown

Wearing a sleek silver coat with black lapels, a mid-length dress, and black fascinator, finished off with a black and cream clutch purse, the mother of two had not intended to enter the competition, planning only to enjoy a day out with friends.

She was glad she did, though, as she walked away — in those stylish heels — with with an astonishing array of goodies, including €1,000 worth of Gold Fever hair extensions.

Blaithin also won a once-in-a-lifetime trip for her and a companion. They will be flown to South Africa for a week-long, all-inclusive, five-star luxury stay at Makanyi Lodge Game Reserve in the Timbavati.

The prize includes return flights for two, luxury suite accommodation, all meals and refreshments, and two safari game drives each day, and is worth over €24,000.

Heels over hooves for Ladies Day at Punchestown

The search for the Gold Fever Best Dressed Lady was held over the first four days of the Punchestown Festival. Judges, style scouts, and the fashion police were tasked with finding the most stylish women in attendance and selecting a number of finalists each day. The daily winner then progressed to the grand final yesterday.

Heels over hooves for Ladies Day at Punchestown

Model Georgia Salpa and pop impresario Louis Walsh were the official judges but there were plenty of other celebrities in attendence, including Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan and Ireland and Leinster rugby star Jamie Heaslip.

Heels over hooves for Ladies Day at Punchestown



I see that a website describes the call of Canarian cory’s shearwaters as ‘waca waca’. It’s a mad, hysterical call, uttered when the parent birds arrive to feed their nestlings.Cory’s shearwaters show long-distance qualities

Is it too much to hope that an important public health matter, such as Lyme disease, will be an issue in the general election? There’s been a worrying reluctance by the authorities to face up to the extent of the disease here.Facing up to Lyme disease

A paper published in Current Biology examines the extinction of a colourful little bird which, until recently, thrived in the eastern US. With the appalling environmental catastrophe enveloping Australia, home to 56 of the world’s 370 parrot species, this account of the Carolina parakeet’s demise is timely.Trying to save the parrot is not all talk

The recent rescue of a trawler 20km north of Fanad Head in Co Donegal gave us a glimpse of the enormous seas that occasionally strike that part of the coast.Islands of Ireland: Inishbeg Island begs the question

More From The Irish Examiner