• Sky Holland and Yen Holland from Lightning Ridge

    Sky Holland and Yen Holland from Lightning Ridge

  • Mary Morgan, Julie Lane and Miep Allard

    Mary Morgan, Julie Lane and Miep Allard

  • Sue King and Chris Ward

    Sue King and Chris Ward

  • Bronwyn Halbisch

    Bronwyn Halbisch

  • Dawn and Les Boag

    Dawn and Les Boag

  • Joshua Burgess and Will Sheppard

    Joshua Burgess and Will Sheppard

  • Jan Palmer and Val Sellers

    Jan Palmer and Val Sellers

  • Christine Waring and Pauline Zdjelar

    Christine Waring and Pauline Zdjelar

  • Karyn Peyton and Kelly Dewhurst

    Karyn Peyton and Kelly Dewhurst

  • Eileen Delmenico and Gill Paulden

    Eileen Delmenico and Gill Paulden

  • Jenny Muir, Ellnor Grasby and Mimma Memmolo

    Jenny Muir, Ellnor Grasby and Mimma Memmolo

  • Trish and Mat Bradley

    Trish and Mat Bradley

  • Stephen Heppenstall and Gerd King

    Stephen Heppenstall and Gerd King

  • Deb Parish

    Deb Parish

  • Mat Bradley and Sue King

    Mat Bradley and Sue King

  • Phillipa Doble

    Phillipa Doble

Women in Racing Members' Lunch

22 February 2015

Sunday at noon and all is rather quiet in the betting ring and on the grass at Canberra’s Thoroughbred Park. There is no urgency about getting things underway and the smattering of marquees are empty, erected in advance for the upcoming Black Opal race day, but rising above the betting ring the noise is building as the Women in Racing have gathered for their annual members’ lunch and the stakes are high and the competition fierce for their major afternoon event….Fashions on the Field, or in this case fashions in the Silks Room with buffet lunch, plenty of bubbly and occasional races thundering along the track outside, where the serious punters and those who enjoy a flutter find distraction.

Special guests included Trish Bradley, the 2015 Narooma Cup Fashions on the Field winner with the perfect ‘handbag’, her husband, the so smartly dressed Mat Bradley, the 2014-2015 Lightning Ridge Opal Queen Skye Holland and Chairman of the Canberra Race Club, Dr. Chris Ward.

Pleasure showing off their significant style, attention to detail and love of frocking up is what this lot are all about as dress codes have declined in today’s world of casualisation where ‘black tie’ can mean black jeans, jacket and funky bow tie for him and diaphanous bit of slinky fabric barely covering the nether regions for her. But there are those who hanker for the ‘proper’ clobber for special events and among them are these ladies of the Women in Racing club who do us proud not just for their own events but when as a group they attend fancy affairs or funerals.

Hats are de rigueur, fabulous frocks or tailored ensembles abound and elegant shoes of the ten minute variety – you can only stand around in them for ten minutes – teeter totter around, with the blokes just as determined to look spiffing and sartorial.  Sunday at this annual members’ race day lunch was as glam as a Melbourne Cup extravaganza and a lesson in dressing to impress.

So what are today’s dress codes and when is casual too casual? Or should we just let things evolve and not get our knickers in a knot when others’ standards are different to yours.