Regina Marie Lee
The New Paper
Saturday, May 17, 2014
You could call her the Belle of the Belle. Why? Because by strange coincidence, the Singapore Turf Club's Turf Belle 2014 winner is... Bernadette Belle.
That's not the only reason for her claim to the crown. There is her beauty, obviously. And there is also her familiarity with horses.
"I used to ride horses back in the Philippines, in the provinces, but I was shocked by how big and well-groomed the ones here are," she said, referring to the racehorses at the Singapore Turf Club (STC).
The 19-year-old undergraduate at a private school beat 12 other finalists to the title.
Together with first runner-up, model Jen Koh, 28, and second runner-up, student Chanel Jones Lyn, 24, she will be the face of the STC and the month-long Singapore International Racing Festival (SIRF), which ends tomorrow.
They were crowned after completing various rounds, including roadshows at Bugis+ and Jurong Point, a charity fund-raising event selling specially-designed Singapore Airlines International Cup caps, and an online voting segment.
Miss Belle, who has taken part in her school's beauty contest, said: "The good thing about the Turf Belle contest is I don't just learn about beauty and presentation but also about the horse-racing scene and jockeys. Because I am representing the sport, it is about something bigger than myself."
She added: "What surprised me was that at the Chill Party on Thursday night, I found out that there were even supporters from abroad, such as from Australia, who were voting for us."
The Turf Belle contest is one in a series of events held as part of the SIRF.
STC's Chill Party on Thursday night was at the Shanghai Dolly and was attended by the racing community, with more than 250 guests from over 10 countries.
Mr Yu Pang Fey, president and chief executive of STC, said: "It was a fun evening where people from the racing community could get together to relax and chat over drinks."
But the serious fun happens tomorrow, with several foreign jockeys featured in the two upcoming international races - the Singapore Airlines International Cup and the KrisFlyer International Sprint.
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