I am completely relaxed right now. I’m sitting in a resort in Vanuatu overlooking crystal blue waters on a warm, sunny day. No wonder I’m suffering writer’s block!

It’s no easy feat coming up with a new and interesting blog post on racing fashion every fortnight. But, as I’ve just realised, this holiday I am enjoying is thanks to the races and Fashions on the Field.

milano imai vanuatu tropical island holiday

In June last year, at Stradbroke Day, I was lucky enough to win Best Dressed Lady. The prize included five nights’ accommodation at Warwick Le Legan resort in Vanuatu. Just three hours away and I find myself in this tropical paradise I’ve never visited- or even thought to visit- before.

2018 stradbroke cup winner milano imai

No one really talks about the fantastic prizes you can win at the races. Probably because we are (mostly) all here for the fashion.

Racing fashion is a fantastic way to showcase your personal style and it’s great fun planning outfits. The designing, the sewing, the embellishing…not to mention all the friends you make along the way, but, of course, winning the hotly coveted winner’s sash is the biggest thrill.

There are so many varied prizes to win. If you’re really lucky, you might get a shiny new car. Some will take you on overseas adventures. Some will take you on a shopping spree or see you lapping up the luxury of a few nights stay at a swanky hotel. There are hair vouchers, makeup, dining experiences, all kinds of exciting indulgences to be had.

So, in this post I thought it would be fun to share the top 3 prizes I’ve won in racing fashion. I’ve also asked Crystal Kimber and Em Scodellaro to share some of their favourite prizes.

Favourite Prize #1 – A Trip for Two to China

In 2015, I made the last-minute decision to enter Tattersall’s Tiara race day FOTF at Brisbane Racing Club. My prize was flights to China for two. I decided to take my mum along with me (I figured she has to put up with all my racing stress and mess, she deserves to come).

We spent 10 days in China travelling around, eating and sight seeing. We saw the Great Wall of China, Summer Palace, Terracotta Warriors, Ming Tomb and Forbidden City.

fashions on the field holiday prize trip to china

China was never somewhere I had thought to visit so winning a trip like this was a great way to experience something new, we really enjoyed our time there!

Favourite Prize #2 – $4,000 Shopping Spree

In 2016, I was fortunate to win my first Stradbroke Day sash. I always hear about people winning shopping sprees on the TV or radio but never thought it would happen to me!

2016 stradbroke cup winners

Upon hearing I was the winner of a $4,000 shopping spree at Indooroopilly Shopping centre, I had to do all I could just to stop myself from driving there right then and there, blowing it all at once on an impulse buy! I was just SO EXCITED!

I did buy a few impulse items, such as a new pair of Prada Sunglasses (totally necessary though, can’t have my eyes being damaged by the sun), a stack of new makeup (again, necessary, have to look my best at all times) and gym wear (need to be inspired to work out so I can fit into all my tight racing dresses).

I was, amazingly enough, able to save the majority of it to spend throughout the year on more practical items, like flights to Sydney and Melbourne to attend different race days, getting my hair and nails done for the races and some Christmas gifts for friends and family.

Favourite Prize #3 – Tropical Island Getaway

My third top prize I’ve won in FOTF is this holiday I’m on right now. As I write this, Marge (my mum) is sitting poolside beside me, pina colada in one hand, book in the other.

We are in stunning Vanuatu for five days and you won’t believe the accommodation we are staying in, a little villa over the water in a luxury resort.

tropical island vanuatu competition prize blue water

seafood dinner clamb chowder

I think this is my favourite holiday I’ve ever been on!! We have, so far, been swimming in crystal clear waters amongst thousands of starfish, canoed from one island to the next, visited a clear blue water lagoon- which was breathtaking!

I even jumped off rope swings, visited a waterfall and swam underneath it, fed and swam with turtles, snorkelled our way around the warm tropical beaches and we have eaten some delicious island foods and fruit! True paradise.

pineapple island fruit and holding a turtle

swimming under a waterfall in vanuatu

I am so grateful to the sponsors and race clubs who organize such prizes. These truly are once in a life time experiences, and something we may never have otherwise had the chance to do!!

Some other fun prizes I’ve won:

  • A year’s gym membership to Fitness First
  • A Range Rover or Jaguar to drive for a weekend
  • Hotel stays in Melbourne (and locally) with buffet breakfasts included
  • Novelty 2L Bottle of Moet- yet to be drunk…
  • A professional photoshoot
  • Antler Luggage suitcases (a particular favourite of mine)

I have asked Crystal Kimber and Em Scodellaro, regular sash winners about their favourite prizes they’ve ever received…

Crystal’s Top 3 Prizes

Favourite Prize #1 – Trip to Royal Ascot

I think the trip to royal ascot is the number 1 prize I’ve won. The prize included 10 days in London and two days attending Royal Ascot. I took my mum, Gail, along with me, we are so lucky we got to experience it, it was so much fun!

fashions on the field competition prize trip to ascot races

queen in carriage at royal ascot in england

Favourite Prize #2 – A Shiny New Lexus

The number two spot would have to be winning a Lexus in the Myer National Competition in 2017. The whole experience of picking up the car was so special, there was a big bow on the bonnet too!

When I drove out of the dealership (in summer!) we put the aircon on and it came through the seats. Mum and I thought it was so funny as it caught us by surprise and our dresses were blowing up like Marilyn Monroe.

win a lexus car myer fashions on the field national final crystal kimber

Favourite Prize #3 – Chadstone Shopping Spree and the Start to a Designer Addiction

My third favourite prize would be a big Chadstone Shopping Centre spree voucher. I used it to buy my first ever designer bag which was super special.

I always dreamt of owning a Prada bag so at 24, I used the voucher on exactly that. It’s opened up the flood gates now though, I have a designer bag addiction… and now shoes haha.

shopping spree prize from going to the races

Em’s Top 3 Prizes

Favourite Prize #1 – It’s All About the Sash (hehe)

My most favourite prize to receive for FOTF is most definitely a sash. The few I have won are my prized possessions, as once the flowers have died & vouchers are redeemed, they are a lasting reminder of a magical moment in time.

I even sleep with my very special Flemington sash hanging over the end of my bed, which was made even more special as it was the first Cup week my mother attended with me & I was on stage with some of my very best FOTF friends when I was Sashed!

em scodallero myer fashions on the field competition flemington

Image Credit: L: Richard Shaw, R: Myer

Favourite Prize #2 – Memories Made in Broome

The next prize I value the most was not because of its value, but yet again, because of the memories created from it.

In 2015 I was fortunate enough to win a trip to Cable Beach Resort in Broome for winning FOTF at Caulfield’s ‘Blue Diamond Stakes’, a destination I knew little about and would not have considered if it wasn’t for my prize. My husband & I spent 5 amazing nights at the luxury resort, being totally spoilt and discovering a part of Australia I am so fortunate to now have visited and hope to return to one day.

competition sash camel ride on beach

Favourite Prize #3 – Motorbike Rides and a Surprise Proposal

Another prize I truly valued was winning a night’s stay at the RACV resort in Torquay. After a lovely Harley ride to our destination, my now husband proposed to me on the balcony of our room, overlooking the golf course & ocean.

An unexpected and fairy-tale moment that I will never forget. FOTF could never be about the prizes for me but I am fortunate to have experienced some wins with prizes that have enriched my life for the better.

white races dress with pink fascinator millinery

holiday prize view of golf course and ocean


What’s your favourite prize that you’ve won in Fashions on the Field? And what types of prizes appeal most to you? Let us know in the comments below!


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