Teen saddles up for first-prize trip

A GLAMOROUS 18-year-old whose ambition is to become a fashion model sashayed away from the Fáilte Ireland Dublin Horse Show last evening with the first prize worth €10,000 as overall winner of the Evian Ladies Day fashion showpiece.

Alison Garvey, South Circular Road, Dublin, who recently sat her Leaving Certificate, took the top prize from a record entry of more than 400 ladies.

The competition was the social and fashion highlight of the five-day show, which continues at the RDS complex in Ballsbridge until Sunday.

“I am shocked. It is my first time ever entering something like this and getting first prize is amazing,” said Alison after being given details of her prize — a shopping and pampering trip for two. 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 to experience the luxury of the Ritz Hotel and shop in the city, all courtesy of Evian Natural Mineral Water.

Alison wore a black and cream dress from Coast. Her hat was made from human hair, all glued together with the twirls wrapped around plastic bottles to create the shape.

Caroline Morahan, who judged the entries with couturier Synan O’Mahony, said they were looking for an eye-catching and elegant outfit that was the epitome of style and that made every head turn. She said she felt they found it in Alison’s stunning design.

There were two winners of a highly-commended prize — Evelyn Moyles, Newbridge, Co Kildare, and Veronica Walsh, Kenstown, Co Meath. Each received a €500 voucher for House of Fraser.

Best dressed man, Lorcan Hanlon, Killiney, won a stylish Louis Copeland suit. And the winner of the €250 House of Fraser prize for most creative hat went to Elyse Gaynor, Clontarf.

A watch from the Longines range, set with 32 diamonds and valued at €2,470, was presented to 76-year-old Mary Tiernan, Navan, who was chosen for the Pretty in Pink award in the Unique to Evian category.

Glamour and pageantry will return to the RDS today when the Aga Khan Trophy for the Nations Cup, part of the Samsung Super League, takes place.

President Mary McAleese will attend the competition, which will see Ireland represented by Denis Lynch, Jessica Kurten, Eddie Macken and Cian O’Connor, go last of the eight competing nations.

Horse Sport Ireland chairman Joe Walsh launched a guide to taxation for the industry at the show yesterday. The purpose of the publication is to provide practical and useful information to breeders of Irish sport horses.

Mr Walsh said throughout the world the Irish sport horse has always enjoyed an exceptional reputation as both a top level performer and a leisure riding horse.

The industry makes a significant contribution to the economy and to the social fabric of Irish communities.

“It is a growing industry and huge potential exists to develop competition and leisure riding markets both at home and abroad,” he said, thanking Grant Thornton for its input to the content of the publication.

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