Race for Lismore Cup best-dressed
By Jamie Brown firstname.lastname@example.org SATURDAY'S Lismore Cup will follow a modified format when it comes to the eagerly anticipated Fashions on the Field competition.
One of the hangovers from the flu outbreak is the retention of bio security on the race track, which means on Saturday, contestants in Fashions on the Field cannot go anywhere near a race horse.
And that means a temporary end to the traditional crowd of fashionists gathering in the centre of the track. As a result, pre-judging will take place off the field and finals will be judged on a podium erected in front of the main grandstand.
But judge Tarlia Bryen doesn't mind, saying the Equine Influenza-driven decision will be to the benefit of all those beautiful people.
Our region is now listed as a horse flu containment 'green zone' which doesn't affect the horse racing industry.
"It just means trainers don't have to fill out quite so many forms when they nominate their horses to come to race meetings," Lismore Turf Club secretary Michael Timbrell said.
Ms Bryen is quietly pleased with the new arrangement. "I think the pre-judging is a good idea," she said. "It can be daunting to be singled out from a big crowd."
Ms Bryen, a Lismore dress designer, will have five of her creations including fascinators in the competition. She said fascinators this year are more subtle and have moved away from bold feathers to more floral designs.
"We are seeing a more natural look, not so big," she said. Co-judge and the face of the race, Brenda Harris, said the delayed race meeting which will include three feature races would expose the beauty of the turf club at the end of a bountiful spring.
"The flowers are blooming, the grass is green." she said. "It is going to be a great day."
Promising horses are expected from Port Macquarie to the border to contest the Lismore Workers' Rousillon Handicap, the Ireland Honda Big Maiden and, of course, the Lismore Cup.