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September 16, 2013

Country Roads at the Gain Irish St Leger at The Curragh

A taste of country came to The Curragh Racecourse at the GAIN Irish St. Leger which took place on Sunday (15th September). The day which featured both the Group 1 GAIN Irish St. Leger and the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes, also had a country music theme and included country music star Mike Denver in concert and a massive Line Dance record attempt, which saw over 500 people taking part to create a new Irish record.

Line dance

The feature race, the GAIN Irish St. Leger, gave Dermot Weld success as Voleuse De Coeurs was ridden to victory by Chris Hayes. Toormore, trained by Richard Hannon with jockey Richard Hughes on board was triumphant in the Group 1 GOFFS Vincent O’Brien National Stakes.

Best DressedMeanwhile, off the track ladies were putting their best foot forward to see if they could win the title of the GAIN/Alltech Most Stylish Lady. In the end Marie Smith from Naas was declared the winner and received a prize of a spectacular VIP trip to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, France next summer. The prize includes a VIP package for two, including flights and three night’s accommodation along with tickets to the games. Marie was chosen by the fashion judges, star of stage and screen, Rebecca Storm, TV3’s Aisling O’Loughlin, Louise Hogan of the Irish Independent, Farmer’s Journal fashion writer, Emer Lynch, Mary Delaney, GAIN Horse Feeds Sales Manager and Clare Fahey, Alltech Global Equine and Pet Marketing Manager.

Marie stole the show and was wearing a coat from Ms. Daisy Blue, hat and bag which she picked up at an antique fair and shoes from Dune. Speaking of her win, Marie said “I’m so delighted to win today, I didn’t expect it. It’s a fantastic prize and I look forward to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games next summer.

Judge Mary Delaney, GAIN Horse Feeds Sales Manager presented Marie with her prize and said, “I was so impressed with the fashion today especially considering the weather we had. Marie was a standout winner, she was dressed for the day and for the weather but still managed to look so elegant”.

A massive Line Dance record attempt was also performed on the day in a bid to create an Irish record. The dance took place on the racetrack in front of the grandstand and saw over 500 people dancing along to an upbeat version of Shania Twain’s ‘From This Moment’. The song was picked to link with the Newbridge Grassroots Festival as Shania Twain’s grandmother, Eileen Pearse was from Newbridge. Participants embraced the country and western theme and came dressed for the part with many cowboy hats and boots on show. The country music theme continued with Mike Denver performing live in concert at the Kildare track.

GAIN Irish St. Leger Weekend was an important part of the Newbridge Grassroots Festival and the St. Brigid of Kildare “Gathering Festival”, while the weekend also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Racing Academy and Centre for Education attracting hundreds of graduates from their world famous jockey’s course.