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Hugh cash prizes on offer at Ballybrit

With less than seven weeks to go to Ireland’s leading horse racing festival, Galway Racecourse is delighted to announce a new guest judge, popular social media influencer Rachel Gorry, for the meetings ‘Best Dressed Lady and Best Hat competitions.

Both Competitions will take place on Thursday, August 3rd, during the seven-day Summer Festival. This promises to be one of the biggest days in the Irish racing calendar, and an unmissable one for fashion lovers, with a generous cash bonanza of €13,000 on offer, sponsored by The Connacht Hospitality Group.

Rachel Gorry said, “I’m delighted to be a judge for this year’s Galway Races Summer Festival. I have such a love for fashion myself, so really looking forward to seeing all the style, especially on Ladies’ Day”.

Judging the Best Dressed Lady competitions on the day is Head Judge and well-known stylist Mandy Maher, who will be joined by fellow judge Kieran O’Malley Digital Marketing Manager for the Connacht Hospitality Group.

For the second year running, The Connacht Hospitality Group will sponsor both the Best Dressed Lady competition with a €10,000 cash prize, and €3,000 to the winner of the Best Hat.

Based in Galway City, The Connacht Hospitality Group is a family run business that comprises The Connacht Hotel, Hyde Hotel and The Residence Hotel, Hyde Bar, An Púcán and 1520 Bar, Galway Bay Golf Resort and Active 24 Fitness.

The group prides themselves on quality hospitality, friendly customer service and creating unique experiences.#


Chief Executive of Galway Racecourse Michael Moloney said, “we are delighted to welcome Rachel Gorry as a guest judge for this year’s Best Dressed Lady competition. It’s great to have her as part of our team for the Summer Festival.

“Ladies Day is our most stylish day of the festival and last year we introduced some welcomed changes to the day itself, including lengthening the time you have to enter, moving the completion time for judging from 1pm to 3pm to give people a chance to make their way to the course and relax and enjoy themselves, also introducing a pre-registration for ladies who might not get spotted on the day but still want to enter the competition.

“They can now enter on the Thursday morning online via our website, upload their outfit details and a photograph. We’re delighted to have the team from The Connacht Hospitality Group on-board for their second year running. They’re innovative, focused on the customer experience and have their finger on the pulse. We couldn’t have asked for a better partner for this event. We’re thrilled. Roll on July!”


Eveanna Ryan, Group Marketing and Innovation Manager for The Connacht Hospitality Group added, “For us as a group, our partnership with the Galway Races continues to be one of the most important brand alignments on our calendar as well as a key driver of business for Galway Tourism. Last year exceeded even our highest expectations and we are so excited to welcome Rachel Gorry to the festival, we know she will be an amazing addition to Mandy and Kieran on the judging panel”.

The Galway Summer Racing Festival takes place from Monday 31st July to Sunday 6th August, when it will welcome many loyal racegoers back to Ballybrit for an amazing week, offering great horse racing, entertainment, fashion, reunions with friends and family and an electric fun atmosphere. To book your ticket check out

The Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) wish Michael and all his team at Galway Races the very best for their upcoming festivities.

Irish Field 

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