Children take lead in fashion stakes

ON a day at Killarney Races when temperatures were in the early twenties and ices and soft drinks were in huge demand, children took over from their parents in the fashion stakes.

The sun shone brightly for family fun day, in sharp contrast to the situation in May when the planned, three-day meeting had to be called off because of non-stop rain.

Dixie the Dragon and children’s cartoon characters were larger than life figures among shirt-sleeved punters in the enclosure, running competitions and handing out lollypops.

Hundreds of children turned out in 40 shades of red, pink and white, making the most of summer-like conditions.

The best dressed Little Mister and Miss Competition was won by Luke Cambridge, six, of White’s Cross, Cork, and Lauren Kennelly, five, Woodlawn, Killarney.

Luke turned out in dark denim jeans, navy hat and baby blue tee-shirt, while Lauren wore a white dress, with red ladybirds and a white floppy hat.

“All the kids made a great effort. Very summery and very colourful, real funky altogether,’’ said Laura O’Mahony, of Upfront Public Relations who judged the competition with Liz Desmond, winner of the Rose Idol talent competition at the recent Rose of Tralee Festival.

Luke and Lauren each received a 150 voucher for children’s fashion retailers, Lyne’s of Killarney.

Meanwhile, Liz Desmond, a 17-year-old Leaving Cert student from Aherla, Co Cork, is looking forward to making her first recording with impressario Louis Walsh, in January.

“The recording is my prize for winning in Tralee and it should give me a good start to building a full-time career in music, which is something I’ve always wanted,’’ she said.

The two-day race meeting is the first to be held at the lakeside track in September.

It was allocated by Horse Racing Ireland in lieu of the rained-out May meeting.

Crowds were smaller than usual for Killarney, as many potential racegoers may have availed of the unusually warm day to go to the beach.

Killarney race company director John Buckley was happy to see the sun shining.

“Currently, we have seven racing days each year in Killarney, but we’re hoping to hold onto the two extra days in September,’’ he said.

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