Information subject to change.
Ooh, I've never been asked that before! Does it have to be clothing? Because I would love to create a range of jewellery. Maybe that can be my next side hustle! I just need a creative outlet – it doesn't matter what is it. During our first lockdown, I painted and I was quite proud of what I ended up with.
I am a sucker for horror movies. Luckily, my husband and sister Bex indulge me because the only other person who'll go to the movies to watch one with me is my friend Alice, who
is currently living in the Netherlands.
I'm a huge fan of people who take risks with their outfits. It shows that they are willing to step out of the box – sometimes it's a winner, sometimes it isn't, but it really gives you an edge over contestants who want to play it safe!
Racing is an incredible industry – it's a big melting pot of different people and backgrounds that all come together for the love of the horse. I don't know a single person in racing who doesn't love horses,
and I feel as though that says so much about the industry as a whole. The energy and dedication only comes from one place – true passion for the horse.
Ensure your relationship is stable before you embark. It has been a heck of a journey for us so far, and while we definitely have had conflicts, I believe that we are very lucky that we have resolved them quickly and get back to business. We each have our own lives, but we were brought up by the same people, with the same ethics, which I believe is a huge part of why we react similarly in situations.
Vodafone Derby Day is one of my favourite days of the year. I love judging The Ned Prix de Fashion and seeing all of the planning and preparation that has gone into the outfits. The racing is obviously why we're all there in the first place – my favourite thing is watching the horses come into the birdcage post-race and seeing the elation of jockeys, trainers and owners. It can get quite emotional at times! (Or maybe that's just me?!)
They're never the same! Sometimes I'm relaxing, other times I'm off to the beach or for a walk up Mt Manganui. I have a great family and friends, who I like to spend time with – particularly my mum, who loves lunching and shopping.
I have travelled a lot of the world, but I will always come back to Queenstown in winter – there's nothing better than the fresh air, snow and mulled wine.
It's such an exciting sport to be a part of – whether you're at the races for a day out with friends, in the fashion competitions or are just a horse lover. It's the complete package!
I love Deadly Ponies – Liam is so quirky with his bag designs. I don't really have one go-to designer, though I love Fashion Society in Christchurch and Superette – they are where I buy most of my outfits from. It all depends on what I'm feeling like on the day!
The Karaka Million at Ellerslie is definitely a "save the date" event with an elite race card and, after the races are done, you have a huge night of dancing! Auckland Racing Club knows how to turn it on. Vodafone Derby Day (March 6) is also up there – I love the traditional black and white style theme. And the $1,000,000 Vodafone New Zealand Derby is a race every jockey aspires to win.
It's such a good week for fashion and the top horses are out to play!
Best purchase ever made millinery-wise was getting two tickets to the Brisbane Millinery Convention in 2015, where the hat-making landslide began. I met milliners from all over the world and attended a variety of hat- making workshops – I was in a creative frenzy. And that frenzy has never stopped!
My prediction (or more like wishful thinking) is that racegoers will be able to attend the Melbourne Cup in November. It was such a poignant moment in racing history last year with spectators not being allowed to attend this iconic event, which a lot of Kiwis also head across the ditch for.
Attending a raceday is fun for both ladies and gentlemen. Seriously! They're fantastic occasions that that my husband and I both enjoy going to together – it caters for all. Dressing up, eating, socialising, watching the racing action and maybe even placing a bet – there's a lot going on. Seeing the horses parade, viewing other ladies in their finery... it's a spectator's delight! I highly recommend it.
Now that I'm a mum of two, soon to be three, I think I'd be designing clothes to dress my children up in. My real-life dollies!
Let the fun shine through! Give an extra twirl, throw that judge a cheeky wink, let your personality be the star. I've seen this quality win sashes before. It may seem simple, but smiling on stage is important.
Two things for me – one is being part of an action-packed day – Auckland Racing Club does it so well! The other is assisting ladies to carefully articulate their outfits with finishing touches (including the most important racewear component – headwear!).
My nickname is Bridget after Bridget Jones! I am so awkward, I often get myself into some hilarious situations.
It's such a cool sport that brings people from all walks of life together. There's a misconception that it is just for the wealthy, but anybody can be involved, from
both a career and social perspective. It's an awesome way to meet people.
I've just finished Bridgerton, which I absolutely loved! I spend a lot of time in the car, so my podcasts on rotation are The Happy Saver and Feel Better Live More. And I've just finished reading Centaur, an autobiography by jockey Declan Murphy – a fascinating read!
The post-race interviews with the connections of the winning horse – you are the first person they see following a win and it is so special to share in their joy. To be part of a trainer or jockey's first Group One win is really something special and I feel honoured to tell that story. Also, getting to meet so many people from such different walks of life I find fascinating.
I came into TV presenting through a pretty obscure path – my love for horses and racing resulted in a career in the media. If I could wind back the clock, I'd have done a journalism degree. From
a young age I was interested in public speaking and debating. I used my passion for horses and racing to travel the world, as I'm originally from England, and then I was very proactive at grabbing opportunities that arose – working for Trackside and the TAB was definitely one of those. It's a dream job and I'm very lucky to be in the position I am.
As a racing purist, it's seeing the best horses come together at one of the greatest racing venues in New Zealand. There's always a great hype about Auckland Cup Week®, from the fashion to the horses. A big crowd on track and seeing so many people enjoying the sport I love is also really rewarding.
Auckland Cup Week® 2021 starts 6th March at Ellerslie Racecourse
Vodafone Derby Day, Saturday 6 March
Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Day, Saturday 13 March
Tickets from $20pp | Under 15s get free general admission | Senior citizen general admission rates apply at the gate on the day.
Learn more and get tickets from ellerslie.co.nz