WEDNESDAY 14th JUNE 2023.  




With less than seven weeks to go to Ireland’s leading horse racing festival, Galway Racecourse is delighted to announce a new guest judge, Rachel Gorry, popular social media influencer, for the Galway Races Summer Festival ‘Best Dressed Lady’ and ‘Best Hat’ competitions that take place on Thursday 3rd August, ‘Guinness Galway Hurdle Day’ during the seven-day Summer Festival. This promises to be one of the biggest days in the Irish racing calendar, and an unmissable day out for fashion lovers, with a generous cash bonanza of €13,000 on offer sponsored by The Connacht Hospitality Group.


Commenting on the upcoming Galway Races, Rachel Gorry said, “I’m delighted to be Guest judge for this year’s Galway Races Summer Festival for the Best Dressed and Best Hat competitions. I have such a love for fashion myself so really looking forward to seeing all the style during the festival and 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. Commenting on this exciting news, Mandy Maher said, “I am super excited to be back this year as Head Judge at the Galway Races.  If the fashion is anything like last year, all I can say is roll on the 3rd of August”.



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 Galway business that comprises of three hotels (The Connacht Hotel, Hyde Hotel and The Residence Hotel), three bars (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.


Commenting on the new sponsorship deal, 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. Rachel is a hugely respected social media influencer known for her engaging content focused on family, home, fashion, and motherhood. 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 the competition, 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, while 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 morning of Ladies Day online via our website, upload their outfit details and a photograph. Lots of welcomed improvements that went down well with our customers. 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!”


Commenting on their sponsorship, Eveanna Ryan, Group Marketing and Innovation Manager for The Connacht Hospitality Group said, “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”.


Widely regarded as the highlight of the Summer Season in Ireland, the Galway Races takes place from Monday 31st July to Sunday 6th August, and looks forward to welcoming its many loyal race goers back to Ballybrit for one amazing week that offers you great horse racing, entertainment, fashion, reunions with friends and family and an electric fun atmosphere that continues to draw people from all over the world. To book your ticket to this year’s Galway Races check out See you in Galway!