‘It’s horse sh*t’: Fashion fracas over race day ban
A FASHIONS on the Field fracas has erupted at a bush racetrack after a 76-year-old style queen was banned from competing because of "bad behaviour" and "bullying".
But Alison Wilson, of Tolga, believes the ban is "pure jealousy" over the 97 sashes she's won in a 11-year winning streak on the country race circuit in far north Queensland.
In a unanimous decision, the septuagenarian was scratched by the Atherton Turf Club committee from entering fashion pageants for the rest of the year.
It ruled her out of today's Atherton Cup in her hometown where she's long been a fixture in the winner's circle - and was on track to winning a coveted 100 sashes.
"I want an inquest, the silly b*tches,'' a defiant Mrs Wilson told The Courier-Mail.
"How can they kick me out? It's horse sh*t."
Mrs Wilson admits she got it wrong with an offhand remark to an attractive younger winner when she came runner-up in Lady of the Day at a race meeting three weeks ago.
"I asked her how old she was, she was 31. I just suggested she should've been in a younger category - it was a mistake," Mrs Wilson said.
"I'm a cheeky old chook. I might ruffle a few feathers. But it's a tiff in a turf club, a fracas in the fashion field. Don't banish me for it."
Mrs Wilson is "obsessed with fashion and winning sashes" and loved the spring carnival season.
"It's what I live for and the years fly past so fast. When I die I'm going to get them to wrap me in all my sashes, cremate me and sprinkle the ashes on the racetrack. Give an old girl a go," she said.
"They gave me no chance to explain myself."
Mrs Wilson has 70 hats, 300 pairs of shoes and six wardrobes full of outfits, mostly bought online through eBay and costing about $400 a pop.
Her hilltop home is bedecked in a rainbow of ribbons won at various bush race meetings in Laura, Mareeba, Mt Garnet, Oak Park, Cooktown and Eureka Creek.
But ATC president Valerie Moses, who turned 80 yesterday, said the colourful local social identity had gone too far.
"She's got on our goat,'' the life member said.
"It's got nothing to do with ageism or discrimination. It was a bit of cattiness.
"Many witnesses saw her stick a finger in the face and make a remark to the absolutely beautiful young lady who won. That's poor form.
"It's not like they go in it to win a sheep station. It's hard enough to get people to enter without that sort of behaviour.
"She can sit out the rest of the season on the sideline."
Unlike in the city where holidays, cars and tens of thousands of dollars are up for grabs, ATC Fashions on the Field winners mostly get a sash, a bouquet and maybe a $100 voucher for a curry dinner or a golf lesson, Ms Moses said.
"Alison wins all the time. Some think it is rigged. She goes to town with her race outfits. Others think why bother entering if she's going to be in it?," she said.
"She's a bad loser. She's got her nose out of joint, and wants us to put it back in for her.
"No, the ban stands. She can just suck it up."
In scenes reminiscent of films such as Strictly Ballroom, Miss Congeniality and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, many amused locals are keen for the next instalment in the stoush.
"Alison is a well loved and unique local character,'' one racegoer, who asked not to be named, said.
"We're half expecting her to turn up with protest placards.
"It won't be a silent protest either."