Coalisland woman steals limelight at Cheltenham for second year running

This year's winner Una O'Farrell Feeney
This year's winner Una O'Farrell Feeney

Coalisland looks set to become an unlikely fashion hub after a local woman scooped the Best Dressed prize at Ladies’ Day at Cheltenham, for the second year running.

Hundreds of ladies donned their finest wears for day two of the Cheltenham Festival as attention shifted from the racecourse to the stands for the Best Dressed competition.

The sartorial showdown was won by Una O’Farrell Feeney following hot on the heels of fellow Coalisland native Yvonne McAvoy, who won the €11,000 prize last year.

Now a winner in the style stakes, Una has even more to celebrate after getting married in New York recently.

She looked delighted to receive the coveted award.

“It’s funny because I went to New York to get married and there was only 10 people there because I don’t like people looking at me and there’s a lot more people looking at me now,” said Una.

Una was joined at Prestbury Park by husband and die-hard racing fan Colm and walked away with a prize worth over €11,000, including a Boodles designer necklace worth over €2,200.

“I don’t go to many of the races but Cheltenham is special for us. Colm loves the racing and I come for the craic. I’ve never been to Galway or Punchestown, I’m a bit of a novice,” she said.

Una wore a teal dress by Danish designer Malene Birger with Reiss Shoes and vintage gloves.

“I started thinking about what I was going to wear about four or five weeks ago. I got the dress and I had the shoes to match. I’m delighted, I’m overwhelmed. I haven’t won a Best Dressed before, I’ve never so much as won a pound in the lotto,” she said.

The contest’s judges included Irish model Roz Purcell who had her eye out for some colour.

Although the festival is possible with Irish racing enthusiasts, it’s striking that Coalisland women should be leading the fashionistas two years in a row.

Last year, mother of four, Yvonne McAvoy won the award thanks to a striking green outfit from a Dungannon boutique.

Her faux fur stole, emerald green silk dress and leopard-print hat were all from The Boutique in Dungannon, owned by sisters Anita and Donna Ross.

Although it was her first time at Cheltenham, Yvonne had previously been a finalist on Ladies Day in Punchestown. Speaking last year to the Tyrone Times, Yvonne said: “My husband comes every year with his brothers, but this year his brothers didn’t come, So it was a lucky first time at Cheltenham.”