Divine doctor leaves rivals feeling blue

IT was a case of midnight blue making an elegant afternoon impact as the Evian Ladies Day brought a sea of glitz and glamour to the Fáilte Ireland Dublin Horse Show yesterday.

Karen O’Connor, a 26-year-old doctor of psychiatry at St Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin, and a native of Ardmore, Co Waterford, was named the best dressed lady at the showpiece event.

“I’m delighted. It’s great,” said Karen, who wore a midnight blue navy silk dress by American designer Diane Von Furstenberg, which she purchased on the internet.

Her matching bespoke hat with ostrich feathers was by Irish designer Claire Anne Lawlor.

Karen took home a prize of a shopping and pampering trip of a lifetime for two worth €10,000.

The trip starts with a visit to the five-star Evian Royal Parc Hotel for two days in the heart of the French Alps. She will then be whisked off to Paris, with a friend, to experience the luxury of the famous Ritz hotel and to shop in the fashion mecca, all courtesy of Evian Natural Mineral Water.

A Best in Pink prize at the show went to Virginia Mallon, Kells, Co Meath, who won a 1920s’ style Longines ‘BelleArti’ watch in stainless steel, with a white mother-of-pearl dial and a diamond-set bezel on a white satin strap.

The winner of the Best Dressed Man was Raymond Gill-Bourne, an electronics production planner from Millstreet, Co Cork, who was awarded a voucher for Louis Copeland.

He wore a House of Frazer suit with a trilby hat from Fitzgeralds in Patrick Street, Cork, and a pink shirt and tie from SuitsYou in Mahon Point.

Lisa Kennedy, a Dubliner, won a voucher for €150 for the Most Creative Hat at the colourful event, which was judged this year by top couturier Synan O’Mahony and RTÉ Off the Rails presenter, Pamela Flood.

The fashionable occasion combined tradition, pageantry and style against the backdrop of horses being judged and jumped in glorious weather. Styles ranged from fabulous hats with huge feathers to summer dresses with plunging necklines and rising hemlines, and to what some of the more critically inclined described as “mini-disasters”.

With sunshine adding to the feast of design and fashion, romance could hardly be far away. And it was provided by Irish show jumper, Cian O’Connor, a member of the Irish team for today’s Aga Khan Trophy.

The 27 year-old-rider confirmed that he has been dating 24-year-old Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for several months. Ms Bloomberg is a member of the United States show jumping squad.

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War of Independence Podcast

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Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence