Merimbula’s Cassandra Ambrose has been crowned the region’s most fashionable race goer of 2018.
Ms Ambrose qualified to compete at the South East Race Association Fashions on the Field Competition in Goulburn after being announced the winner at the Bega Cup Carnival at the Sapphire Coast Turf Club on February 4.
Ms Ambrose regularly attends race days across the countryside wearing her own designs to promote her millinery business and express her “bold and outlandish” style.
“For this competition I wanted to pull back and show a different side of me, a more elegant and classic look – something no-one would have seen of me before,” she said.
With two weeks to prepare, Ms Ambrose decided to take off her milliner’s hat and embrace the day as a participant.
“It can be really quite tough in the racing scene, it can be difficult for participants to see a designer enter. I didn't want any stigma around it,” she said.
Through social media, a South Australian designer had caught Ms Ambrose’s attention.
“I had been admiring the work of Cristina of Couture+Love+Madness. She was able to make a dress using her completely embroidered, cornflower blue European fabric that I absolutely adored,” she said.
One week prior to the event Ms Ambrose was hospitalised, suffering an ovarian cyst that had ruptured. She described the pain “worse than child birth” and was worried that she would be unable to attend the event.
“I was very lucky I could get to Goulburn. I was determined and needed to represent our area,” she said.
Secretary of the Goulburn Race Club and judge said the decision was “very difficult, everyone looked stunning”.
“We were looking for attention to detail and in that regard we though Ms Ambrose was worthy of first place.”
Ms Ambrose accepted the major prize which included a $2500 travel voucher, two $500 vouchers for Valley Girl and Sportsgirl, a $500 Malibu Spray tan voucher and $1000 worth of jewellery.
Ms Ambrose was not expecting to win the event and was lost for words.
“Once the runner up was announced, I thought it was over and I was about to walk away, before I knew it there was a microphone under my chin,” she said.
Ms Ambrose was grateful of her experience representing her hometown and the Sapphire Coast Turf Club, she said “all of the other women were so supportive.”
“I walked away from the event not just a winner but with lots of new friends,” she said.
“All of the other women that were there on the day were so inspiring, each with different styles.”
Ms Ambrose is looking forward to the Autumn Carnival season, her next race appearance will be at the Black Opal Stakes in Canberra, wearing a millinery piece of her own.
If you would like to follow her journey around the race tracks, visit Cambrose designs on Facebook.