Huge crowds enjoyed the warm September sunshine and soaked up the incredible atmosphere at the opening day of the Listowel Harvest Racing Festival (18th to 24th September).
It was also the premier of the much anticipated Lyrath Estate Hotel Best Dressed Couple Competition … and glamorous couples from all over Ireland dressed to impress to catch the eye of fashion judge, top radio and TV personality, Elaine Kinsella. After much deliberation, it was fashion forward couple Jacy Ybanez (Tralee) and Brian O’Connor (Abbeyfeale) who had brilliantly co ordinated their monochrome dotty style to secure first place – winning the title Lyrath Estate Hotel Best Dressed Couple 2022 and a two night luxury escape to Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny, with dinner on one evening and an Afternoon Tea! The first two runners up, super stylish Raymond and Gillian Gilbourne and Eithne O’Riordan and Barry O’Halloran (who honeymooned 30 years ago at Listowel Races and were here celebrating their anniversary) won an overnight stay for two in a Deluxe Room at Lyrath Estate. 3rd runner up Sean and Kristy Keating won two tickets each to the 3 day Listowel June Bank Holiday 2023 festival. The presentations in the parade ring were made by Evan McAuliffe on behalf of Lyrath Estate Hotel.
The Lyrath Best Dressed Couple Competition was the first of 6 fashion events over this Harvest Racing Festival at Listowel. Tomorrow, Monday 19th, is the premier of a brand new competition celebrating one of fashion’s most iconic wardrobe essentials – Denim Blue Jeans ! Open to everyone, ‘Forever in Blue Jeans ’is sponsored by O’Connor’s Hardware & Farm Supplies and mc’ed by Billy Keane and will judged by a fashion panel from Listowel Race Course. The judges tip is to think beyond jeans and a tee and consider double denim; dungarees, jackets, shirts, jumpsuits, dresses, and accessories. There is €200 cash for the winner in the male and female category.
The other fashion events on this week are Tuesday 20th – a fancy dress competition;
Thursday 22nd – the Ryles Menswear Best Dressed Man, Friday 23rd – the McElligotts Kia Best Dressed Lady
and Saturday 24th – the Listowel Tidy Towns / An Taisce Sustainable style competition. All details on prizes and how to enter can be found on listowelraces.ie or follow #listowelraces for exclusive content
Sunday was also family day and Mickey and Minnie Mouse were greeted with rapturous delight by hundreds of excited children of all ages. There was also Giggles Entertainment free disco, face painting and balloons and the free Wooly Farm with chicks, guinea pigs, hens, ducks, rabbits, lambs, piglets and pygmy goats, plus Roo the Llama! The opening day’s card was sponsored by Kerry Group with feature race the Kerry Group Steeplechase €40,000.
Racing continues tomorrow with Liam Healy Memorial Lartigue Hurdle €50,000 and the 1st Race is off at 1.25pm* and admission is €20