EM Best Dressed Racegoer Winner: Grand National 2020

Huge thanks to our readers who entered our Best Dressed Racegoer Competition for the Grand National 2020! 

We are now collecting entries for our Newmarket Guineas and Chester May Festival competitions.

The winner of our Grand National competition is Rebecca Maddocks (see our interview with her below), with Highly Commended for Lasse Hedensted and Gill Carpenter. Congratulations!! And thanks to all who took part.

Meet Rebecca:

Obviously we loved your look for the Best Dressed competition – could you talk us through the outfit?

My outfit and headpiece is custom made from an Australian designer Sonlia whom many Australians look to for their outfits and fashion… they are very excited to be apart of your Grand National win and posted it on their social media!

Is high fashion and dressing up a major part of your everyday life or do you save it for special events?

OMG nooo!!! Normally I’m at the stables in a cap, riding boots, joddies and a horse perfume scent… but for my own personal achievements I started doing fashion events to meet more friends (non horsey), and my mother always wanted to bring out the girl in the tomboy horsemade girl.

She used to put me in the local showgirl events yearly and get my cousin and I a flash outfit each year…I did win that finally in 1998 and I was stoked as then she would leave me alone and now I could ride my pony at the show instead.

She was extremely excited for the cover win for your event and showered me in flowers and champagne….this win was definitely for her…

Are you a fashion influencer?

No but it has grown on me and I look up to a lot of ladies who have helped me along the way with tips and friendships on the journey:

  • Eliza Icke, whom I’ve admired along the way and I always get tingles when I see her at events, she is just perfection. She’s judged and helped so many get on the stage.
  • Belinda Nurse who is just the most beautiful person and competitor inside and out.
  • Melanie Wade, well we would all like to have a glass of bubbles in her wardrobe, everything is matched to perfection.
  • Gracyn Masterton started this: she is my inspiration, I’ve been watching her wins on Instagram and bought some of her outfits.
  • Bethany Braj who is an influencer in WA [Western Australia] and just a vision on stage… definitely an influencer and was a part of the beginning  of the virtual craze here in Australia.

When and how do you start planning for any racing outfit?

Being a midget… jockey height etc, I have to be picky with outfits so I don’t look short and like a potato sack… I’ve now been planning ahead and looking at seasons and trends.

How do you vary your style to keep it fresh?

I’ve got a very artistic friend who has made a lot of my millinery and matched many outfits for me… I’m very lucky. My mum always has a huge say in finishings.

What fashion/beauty/racing essentials do you always carry with you for the races and why?

My go to daily is a tinted SPF30 plus moisturiser for my face, airbrush make-up and mascara… always carry flats and bandaids.

Do you have any fashion tips on how to keep the cost down whilst still looking fabulous and unique?

I’ve been op shopping for accessories, and always looking for outfits online. [OpShops are social enterprises based around a church-run charity shop.]

Which fashion designers and milliners are you inspired by and why?

Sonlia have definitely been inspirational… you know when you get on stage no one else will have on what you do.

How often do you attend the races and which is your favourite racing event?

Well I always wanted to be the first girl to win the Melbourne Cup but Michelle Payne owns that title…. and my dad wasn’t going to let me be a jockey. My best mate’s dad was a trainer, I’m sure I drove them nuts. My show horse trainer was the wife of a very well known horseman/ trainer… even at 30 he said are you sure you don’t want to ride, you’re small enough! I used to get up and ride my bike down the track and watch the horses do trackwork. On holidays I used to watch them work on the beach and swim in Warnambool. 

You can’t beat the Melbourne Cup week, the whole week of fashion is just unbelieveable.

We own some gallopers, my fiance is a harness racing trainer and his family all have been raised with it, and I ride show horses nowadays, boss him around, drive some harness, and will ride our gallopers when they are home if they aren’t crazy. I also help re-home them after racing and was the first show rider to do the off-the-track Standardbred and Throughbred State Championships. So we are flat out going to races etc.

Horses are in my blood, I don’t mind what I’m doing just so long as they have something to do with it. Sometimes I’m in the stalls getting a horse ready to race and 20 minutes later I’m on the stage in a fashion event…life is super fun!

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