Opening Day Hat Contest

The 28th annual Opening Day Hats Contest at Del Mar drew more than 160 contestants. Categories included Most Glamorous, Best Fascinator, Best Flowers, and Best Racing/All Others Theme. Contestants competed for more than $4,000 in cash and prizes.

The Grand Prize winner was Steffi Poce of Park City, Utah, who competed in the Best Racing Theme category. Steffi receives a one night stay and meal for two at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa valued at $1,000, a $500 Studio Savvy Salon gift basket, and a $300 cash prize for a total value of $1,800. 

Poce wore a very large race track atop her head with the centerpiece of a horse riding a jockey! Poce spent approximately 40 hours to craft her creation, and even made hats on all the miniature figures across her race track brim. Her outfit consisted of riding pants and racing crop with diamonds on yellow silks.

The first place best fascinator category deservedly goes to Aubrey Fohl from San Juan Capistrano. The hat was designed by Maor Zabar, is a couture milliner atelier based in Tel-Aviv, specializing in surreal and unexpected pieces of art. This particular fascinator is a pink carnivorous flower! The hollyhock flowers are beautifully offset by Aubrey’s fitted deep forest green velvet dress.

First place in the Best Flowers category went to Amparo Brean from Encinitas, CA. This artistic and creative hat was designed by Amparo herself. The judges were “abuzz” from the many bees, flowers and beehive she wore.

In the Most Glamorous category we have Belinda Berry all the way from Spring Hill, Tennessee wearing a self-titled ensemble, “Gilding the Tiger Lily”. Belinda’s stunning light green and coral matching hat and custom-made dress was perfection from head to toe. 

Credit: Del Mar Track Club

Photography by Travis Land