Del Mar Opening Day Hats Contest
From left to right: Aubrey Fohl, Christine Best, Lauren Donahue, Andria Elam, Lauren Jenkins, Virginia Foster, Carlene McKnight, Mollie Cameron, Belinda Berry, Christina Stutz
The 23rd annual Opening Day Hats Contest at Del Mar, presented by Valenti International, drew more than 300 contestants. Categories included Most Glamorous, Best Fascinator, Best Flowers, Best Race Track Theme and Most Outrageous. Contestants competed for more than $5,000 in cash and prizes.
The Grand Prize winner was Christina Stutz of San Diego who competed in the Most Outrageous category. Christina won a Fairmont Grand Del Mar one-night stay and dinner for two at Addison Restaurant, featuring Chef William Bradley's multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings valued at $1,000. She also received $300 cash and a Studio Savvy gift basket valued at $250.
Stutz delighted Del Mar race fans with a grand scale presentation topped with an elegant life-sized horse enthusiast in a lovely hat of her own. The race fan topper carried an authentic 1948 vintage Del Mar Racing Program with betting slips. Stutz, whose hat took two months on-and-off to design, told the story about her father attending Opening Day in 1948 and was the inspiration for her clever take on the Del Mar scene.
Christine Best of Carlsbad won the category of Best Flowers made of gorgeous live white orchids in an understated elegant form. Mollie Cameron of San Diego who won the Best Fascinator category wore an incredibly architected fascinator design that was stunningly simplistic and sculpted out of a single sheet of paper. The winner in the Most Glamorous category, Lauren Donahue from San Diego was dressed in a beautiful vintage lace dress and hand-made hatinator in beautiful fruit with flowers and ostrich feathers. And rounding out the field of winners in the category of Best Racing Theme, Lauren Jenkins donned a full size surfer wave, with horse race and aquarium atop a surf board themed "Where the Turf Meets The Surf".