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Bri Mott Talks Keeneland Breeders’ Cup Fashion

Bri Mott Talks Keeneland Breeders’ Cup Fashion: Fashionable attire at racetracks dates back to the first Kentucky Derby, in 1875 at Churchill Downs. The founder wished for a larger female audience and a safe place for the elite class to socialize. After all, high fashion tends to bring a pleasant crowd, and dressing up is fun! Bri Mott, founder of the website Fashion at the Races, agrees and advocates spending time at the racetrack in style.

Bri Mott Fashion at the Races

“We don’t find a lot of different ways to bring people to the racetrack, so this is my way.” ~Bri Mott on promoting the Sport of Kings with fashion. Photo: Bethaney Martin

Formerly a girl with aspirations of becoming an equine veterinarian, Mott once entered an internship program at Ashford Stud in Kentucky. The original plan did not last, but she wanted to remain in horse racing and ended up working for a major Thoroughbred operation.

“The internship was a way to get experience … but it sizzled out that I wanted to be a vet. I kept coming back to Kentucky and the horse racing industry,” Mott said. “ … So here I am working for Team Valor.”

At Team Valor, she works as a jack of all trades.

Mott explained her duties, “I am the director of customer relations and help with administrative assistance for Barry (Irwin) and a lot of our paperwork, and dealing with the clients who are great.”

“If we have a horse running, I’ll take them to Keeneland and take them in the paddock. It’s all just making sure they’re having a great day at the races.”

She became inspired to begin Fashion at the Races from traveling abroad to different racetracks.

“I traveled to Australia and New Zealand, and seeing how they market their sport there, and kind of the lack of marketing here … gave me the idea to market racing in a more stylish light. If girls want to dress up, you say dress up and come to the races, and bring your friends,” Mott said.

“We don’t find a lot of different ways to bring people to the racetrack, so this is my way.”

Ironically, when Mott attended her first Breeders’ Cup in 2010 at Churchill Downs, she wore casual clothing including a heavy jacket and jeans. But, she came home with a fantastic experience.

“I found five of my college friends who had no horse racing interest and we bought a box,” Mott recalled. “It’s one of the fondest memories for us all and they follow racing because of that weekend.”

Mott plans to wear something a bit more fashionable at the Keeneland Breeders’ Cup, scheduled for Oct. 30 and 31. Her pending dresses and accessories are nearly finalized.

“You will probably find me with faux fur. Some fabulous fascinators are on the roster,” Mott said of her upcoming plans. “I hope to wear purple one day for Breeders’ Cup support. And then the other outfit, I’ve got a vintage fur, kind of Audrey Hepburn fascinator. I’m going to do something with that.”

Browsers at Fashion at the Races will find pictures of Mott, who admittedly looks attractive even in her everyday clothing at Kroger for this interview, in previous fashionable outfits on major race days. Some of the photos involve a pony purse. Will she use one for the Breeders’ Cup?

“Yes, I will probably wear one of my favorite pony purses,” the fashion guru revealed. “I will keep it small. I don’t like the big bags hanging over your shoulder.”

“Some type of clutch is what I’ll be doing, but one of the days will be the pony purse.”

She also believes fall shades at the Breeders’ Cup are more suitable than summer-type colors.

Bri Mott Fashion at the Races

Pictured above on the red carpet interviewing celebs at the 2015 Kentucky Derby, Bri Mott encourages and promotes racing and fashion in a positive way with

“Fall colors are important. You don’t want the summer florals or the bright pinks at the Oaks and Derby,” Mott said. “You want maroons, emeralds or navy blue … that sort of thing.”

“I’m not opposed to white either. The whole rule of no white after Labor Day doesn’t fly with me.”

Women walk a line between looking great and staying comfortable throughout the day. Mott thinks both goals can be accomplished with careful planning.

“Fashion is all about showing your personality. You don’t want to wear something that will be uncomfortable all day,” Mott said. “There’s plenty of things that can look and feel good.”

“I went to the Derby and wore a vintage dress. I got it altered and they altered it a little too tight. I went to dinner that night and had them unzip it so I could put a coat on, because I could not sit in the tight dress any longer … if I had just planned ahead, this would not have happened.”

Planning ahead is key.

“I do a lot of shopping on websites where I find clearance and it’s great. You can always find something for cheap,” Mott explained on the trick of mixing cheap and expensive clothing. “You find it and put something else with it. There’s nothing wrong with cheap as long as it doesn’t look cheap.”

“T.J. Maxx, a great place to shop. But again, you’re going to piece something together so give yourself plenty of time to do that. Yes, you can get a dress for $1,000 and look better than someone who pieced an outfit together, but you could also look boring.”

One of the final questions involved asking about her favorite active racehorse. Mott chose a Team Valor gelding named Panama Hat, who mainly races overseas, and an upcoming Breeders’ Cup contender.

“A Team Valor horse is my favorite one and that is not to bump up Team Valor. Panama Hat … he is an Irish gelding and a little ham. You can hug him and kiss him.”

“Beholder, I always love to watch her.”

For more information on Bri Mott and Fashion at the Races, visit

For various Breeders’ Cup information, check out and