PICS: Leather and feather proves a winner for Carol Kennelly Leopardstown Christmas Festival

Acclaimed Kerry milliner managed to get more use than most out of the Christmas turkey.
PICS: Leather and feather proves a winner for Carol Kennelly Leopardstown Christmas Festival

Her very particular way of keeping things festive helped her win the Most Stylish Lady competition at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival yesterday.

The crowning glory on her gold beret was a gold-dipped turkey quill embellished with pearls and crystals.

Carol wore a champagne and gold brocade coat with imitation fox fur collar by Tina Griffin from Killorglin, Co Kerry, who designs bespoke garments.

Her outfit included a gold-coloured leather skirt, also designed by Ms Griffin, a gold-coloured cashmere jumper, and gold stilettos, matched with gold gloves and a beige bag.

Around 200 women entered the competition on Ladies Day and this year the stakes were high — the competition was sponsored by the world-renowned Monart Destination Spa.

Carol said she was looking forward to sharing her top prize with her husband — a five-night break at the five-star hotel in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.

She found the going was just as tough off-track. “It was the strongest field I have ever seen at winter racing. Some of the outfits were just spectacular.”

Carol said it was great the year had ended on such a high note — and it has been a very good year all round. “I really never know where the next opportunity or challenge is coming from and I think that’s what makes my job fun and exciting. So we’ll see what happens in 2016.”

Asked if she believed the recession was well and truly over, Carol said people would always pay for something that was going to last.

“From my point of view, I see people putting time and money into a quality piece that will last in their wardrobe,” she said.

Despite the continuing bad weather, 16,466 people attended Leopardstown for Ladies Day and the iconic Lexus Chase.

Among those attending the festival, which has been running since 1888, was former footballer and businessman Niall Quinn and television presenter Brian Ormond.

On track, the racing provided loads of thrills for punters, with Willie Mullins ending a long wait for his first Lexus Chase win with Gold Cup favourite Don Poli pipping First Lieutenant and Foxrock in the hands of Bryan Cooper. The Closutton handler, who is hoping to add a first Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, said of 4/6 favourite Don Poli: “He just does what he has to do. He’s a very lazy horse but when the others came at him he kept pulling out more.”

The three-day festival concludes today with the Ryanair Hurdle.

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