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Geraldton local Bernadette May takes out best-dressed at prestigious Myer Fashions on the Field Flemington

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Bernadette May poses on the runway after winning Best Dressed at Fashions on the Field during 2022 Kennedy Oaks Day at Flemington Racecourse.
Camera IconBernadette May poses on the runway after winning Best Dressed at Fashions on the Field during 2022 Kennedy Oaks Day at Flemington Racecourse. Credit: Naomi Rahim/Getty Images for VRC

Australia’s most stylish racing fashionista is from right here in Geraldton after local mother-of-four Bernadette May was crowned best-dressed in the Myer Fashions on the Field national event at Flemington last Thursday.

Winning the top gong has landed Ms May a swag of amazing prizes including a brand new Lexus car, a Cartier watch and thousands of dollars in shopping vouchers and holiday packages.

The competition has been running for 60 years but changed in 2022 from women’s and men’s categories to best-dressed and best-suited — opening both up to all genders.

Fashions on the Field Best dressed winner Bernadette May poses on the runway during 2022 Kennedy Oaks Day at Flemington Racecourse.
Camera IconFashions on the Field Best dressed winner Bernadette May poses on the runway during 2022 Kennedy Oaks Day at Flemington Racecourse. Credit: Naomi Rahim/Getty Images for VRC

The competition ran throughout the week with daily finals before the grand final was held on Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday.

Ms May came out on top in the final of 12 for her stunning look of a floral dress with striking fascinator, which she said was a rejected outfit from a previous competition.

“I was going to enter this outfit online but I showed my friends and none of them jumped up and down about it,” she said.

“So I thought, I’ll wear it to Flemington but in the back of my head I didn’t think I had a chance.”

It took a few moments for her achievement to sink it.

“Did that just happen?,” she said in a speech after the competition.

Ms May, a mother of four children aged 22, 19, 6 and 1, lives in Wandina and has entered the competition three times and been a finalist once. She was also a judge for Fashions on the Field for Ladies Day last month at the Geraldton Turf Club.

But her regular garb couldn’t be further from her winning combination of the floral dress by Bambah and hat by Peacock Millinery.

“I am a stay-at-home mum when I’m not doing this. I have a flannel shirt on or active wear, and I don’t even work out,” she said.

“The dress is Bambah. I knew I wanted this one straight away because it was full of fabric and flowing but the rest of the outfit didn’t come easy at all.

“I had 12 different bags that I found and 12 different heels. The post office asked if I wanted to register as a business because I was collecting so many packages!”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 03: Sherlon Garbo and Bernadette May pose at The Park, after winning Fashions on the Field during 2022 Kennedy Oaks Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 03, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Naomi Rahim/Getty Images for VRC)
Camera IconSherlon Garbo and Bernadette May pose at The Park, after winning Fashions on the Field during 2022 Kennedy Oaks Day at Flemington Racecourse. Credit: Naomi Rahim/Getty Images for VRC

Ms May’s hard work paid off. As well as the Lexus car and Cartier watch, she won a $3500 voucher to Myer, $3000 TCL TV package and a 2023 Melbourne Cup carnival experience including flights and four nights accommodation at the Sofitel Melbourne

“I have another car on order. I’m gonna have to to cancel it!” she said.

Geraldton had strong ties to this year’s Melbourne Cup and spring racing carnival, with winning Cup jockey Mark Zahra having his first career race and win at the Geraldton track in the late 1990s.

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