Glamour, glitz and some fine fillies

IT will be Ladies’ Day in earnest both inside and outside the manicured rings of the Fáilte Ireland Dublin Horse Show at the RDS today.

And the anthem of all Shannonsiders’ Limerick You’re a Lady, the song made famous by singer-composer Denis Allen, will neatly sum up the feelings of at least one exhibitor.

Dermot O’Brien from Friarstown, Crecora, will make history at the 134th show, which Dublin Lord Mayor Paddy Bourke officially opened yesterday. He will exhibit a 10-year-old grey Irish draught mare King’s Sister with her twin filly foals, something that has never yet been seen at the history enveloped Royal Dublin Society complex in Ballsbridge.

The black foals were sired by the thoroughbred stallion Shaandar and were born on June 15. One was bigger and stronger than the other at birth, which is normally the case with twin foals.

“They are fine and healthy and there is not a bother on them,” said Dermot O’Brien.

King’s Sister, sired by the registered Irish draught stallion Island King was bred by Séamus O’Brien from Carrickfad, Co Leitrim, and was the supreme champion at the Irish National Draught Horse Show in Mullingar last weekend.

The RDS is excited about the appearance of the three equine ladies from Limerick at the celebrated show.

A spokesman said their presence will be remarkable considering that the chances of a mare giving birth to live twins is about 5,000-to-1 and in 80% of such cases, one or both of the animals will not survive.

But other ladies will also be the focus of attention outside the rings today. Evian Ladies Day has a €10,000 prize of a trip for two to Paris for a €3,000 shopping spree awaiting the winner of the best dressed woman competition.

This year, a 1920s-style Longines ‘BelleArti’ watch in stainless steel, with white mother of pearl dial and a diamond-set bezel on a white satin strap will be given to the winner of a ‘Best in Pink’ competition.

Louis Copeland will present a prize for the “Best Dressed Man” and a voucher will be awarded for the “Most Creative Hat” which always attracts some head-turning creations, Last year, more than 400 women availed of the expertise of top stylist Cathy O’Connor.

“We do our bit to ensure that each person feels and looks their best before they go in front of the judges, and whether they need a pin or a plaster we will have it on standby,” she said.

This year’s judges are top couturier Synan O’Mahonyand RTÉ Off the Rails programme presenter Pamela Flood, who was voted Ireland’s most stylish woman last year.

“We are looking for a woman with her own style, who looks and feels confident in what she is wearing,” she said.

A repeat of the sunshine on the opening day of the show yesterday should encourage a big turnout of glamour and glitz at an event where grass, horses and stiletto heels just happen to be a natural mix.

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