Race Day Outfits From Across the Sea

Spring racing season is so, so near. Milliners are gearing up for their spring collections, and I am already browsing through my favourite designers, filing away ideas for race day outfits. I can only imagine that the horses are also anxiously awaiting their collective birthday.

While we’re (impatiently) waiting for spring to kick into high gear, our friends across the seas are currently enjoying the height of horse racing and jumping, and therefore horse racing fashion as well. And while race day outfits have a distinct look that’s roughly similar around the world, it’s still interesting to see the different takes each country has.

The Dublin Horse Show, one of Ireland’s largest events and a highlight of every summer, draws tens of thousands of horse lovers around the world. One of the events to look forward to, of course, is Ladies Day, when the women showcase the very best of Irish style and elegance.

Claire Murphy took home the grand prize of €10,000 or almost $15,000.

Race Day Outfits From Across the Sea | Track Mode | Dublin Horse Show Ladies Day 2016

The Ladies Day winners, from left to right: Rebecca Quigley (Longines Elegance is an Attitude), Brooke Sketchley (Great Lengths Most Creative Hat), and Claire Murphy (Dundrum Town Centre Best Dressed Lady). Image: Paul Sherwood

Solid block colours and pastels seemed to be the order of the day. The gorgeous headwear ranged from big, beautiful hats to intricate fascinators.

[unitegallery DublinLadiesDay16]

Meanwhile in the US, what is arguably the country’s most popular and prestigious horse race meeting has just kicked off. Saratoga’s pedigree goes way back: it is one of the oldest organised sporting events in the US, and many of the world’s finest thoroughbreds have competed here.

In horse racing lore, the Saratoga Race Course is also known by the ominous nickname, “The Graveyard of Champions.” This is because a few Triple Crown winners were beaten here in the unlikeliest of odds. Just last year, the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah was defeated by Keen Ice.

The 2016 summer meet at the Saratoga Springs, New York is on from the 22nd of July to the 5th of September. The opening festivities included the 25th Annual Hat Contest, one of the more colourful highlights of the event.

Race day outfits are much more relaxed — some came in shorts (yes, shorts), but many still chose to dress up in proper race day dresses.

Tonia Cooke of Huntington, New York was declared “most fashionable” in the “Fashionably Saratoga” category.

Race Day Outfits From Across the Sea | Track Mode | Saratoga Race Track Summer Meet 2016

Tonia Cooke’s hat was declared “most fashionable.” Image: Paul Buckowski for Times Union

Track goers also competed in the “Uniquely Saratoga” category for the most creative, outrageous, and funny hats.

[unitegallery SaratogaSummer2016]


Good news: it may be slow season for horse racing right now, but we’ve been very busy behind the scenes preparing for Spring Carnival. We’ve got interviews with key figures in racing all lined up, plus lots and lots of fashion edits and tips for looking your most stunning on the track — watch out for those soon.

Track Mode is a horse racing and fashion site founded and curated by Nina O’ Brien. Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get race day fashion edits straight to your inbox.