The Fashions on the Field competition at yesterday's Melbourne Cup day races in Echuca was one of the day's highlights.By Ruth Clayton
Yesterday’s Melbourne Cup day races in Echuca went off without a hitch, according to Echuca Racing Club chief executive officer Garry Armstrong.
The day included seven races and a live screening of the Melbourne Cup.
Mr Armstrong said crowds started to fill the Echuca racecourse for the annual event from 10.30am, but attendees were well behaved and the day was without incident.
Echuca police were on site, but no major incidents were recorded.
‘‘Behaviour has been good,’’ Mr Armstrong said.
‘‘It’s all been pretty non-eventful, which is the way we like it.’’
Mr Armstrong said although official numbers had not been counted, attendance appeared to be slightly down on last year.
He said numbers were certainly similar to last year, where about 7000 people attended, and the crowd may have simply appeared less because marquees were more spread out.
Ticket pre-sales were in line with budget, Mr Armstrong said.
Mr Armstrong said the threat of rain may have deterred some people from attending.
He said one main difference compared to last year’s event was an increase in corporate packages.
‘‘We’ve definitely had more than any other year,’’ Mr Armstrong said.
One highlight for Mr Armstrong was the Fashions on the Field competition.
‘‘We’ve had a massive field in fashions,’’ Mr Armstrong said.
Categories for the competition were Lady of the Day, Mens, Stylish under 18 and Couples.
Judges were Echuca Racing Club’s Melissa Buchanan, Moama Bowling Club’s Liam Fleming, stylist Kate McDonald and Deniliquin milliner Danica Erard.
Thirty-one women entered the Lady of the Day competition, with Hayley Bell of Koondrook judged the winner.
Ms Bell wore a red and cream dress teamed with a matching red and cream hat and nude patent heels and clutch.
Winner of the Stylish under 18 was Molli Johns, while the winner of the mens category was Peter Haslock.
The couples category was won by Wendy McAsey and Shaun Kempen of Moama.
Miss Buchanan said it was a challenge judging all categories.
‘‘It was such a huge year. The talent stepped up,’’ she said.
When judging the Lady of the Day category, Miss Buchanan said judges looked for a head-to-toe styled outfit.
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