Meet: Carena West - Ellerslie fashion ambassador

As a horse owner & rider, fashions in the field winner & judge, plus a member of the Club, you could say Carena West is no stranger to Ellerslie.

A multi-tasker, when she's not on course in the role of fashion ambassador, she's busy designing a new range of fitnesswear with her gorgeous sister, working as a marketing manager or out & about experiencing the best of what New Zealand has to offer.

Today, Carena chats to us about why she loves nothing more than a day spent trackside.


As the fashion ambassador for Auckland Racing Club, I am quite often asked one question - "why?"

Why do we get so dressed up? Why should I go? What is the reason for all the effort?

New Zealanders are notorious for having a very casual nonchalance towards getting dressed up.

Ask my Dad - I’m pretty sure he hasn’t worn a suit since his wedding day!

A trip to the races should be regarded as an experience and like a holiday, the journey to get there is all part of the fun!.

Where else in New Zealand do we get the excuse to consciously and concisely plan an outfit from head-to-toe, dress up, glam up and go out to a full day of entertainment?

Going to the races is a fun day out for everyone, whether you are a serious punter, or just love watching the action and picking a horse to place a bet on by their name (the horses love it too, trust me!).

As a dedicated follower of fashion, I relish the opportunity to find runway outfits that I have seen grace or Vogue, and interpret them to be worn on a raceday.

If it’s not screaming colour, embellishment, draping or detail then I don’t want it. That is something that is rare for me - very often my everyday wardrobe consists of staples in black, tan and other neutrals, and features A LOT of jeans.

Whenever I take the time to plan my outfit though, I always feel much more “put together”, sophisticated and self-confident.

The art of dressing is sometimes tricky to pull off (even though there are people out there who make it look effortless!), so when it all comes together to me it feels like an achievement, as well as something fun to do.

The next time you plan to attend the races, why not make a day of it? Get your girlfriends together to get ready, have a little champagne breakfast and do your hair together.

Get your nails done, get a spray tan, visit a milliner and have a hat made.

A day at the races is an event and should be treated with the same vigour and excitement as if you were attending a ball or wedding.

If reading this makes you nervous about the thought of putting it all together, don’t worry - I’m here to help.

This blog will be your go-to source for styling, beauty and raceday tips to help you feel like a pro whether it is your first, or 50th time attending the races.

Stay tuned!

Carena x