FORGET Aintree, the best dressed women could be found strutting their stuff at a North-East racecourse today (Friday, April 4).

Stylish women from across the region donned their most colourful hats and fascinators and headed to Sedgefield Racecourse in County Durham Ladies Day.

The event coincided with Ladies Day at the Aintree Grand National and, as well as watching seven live races, Sedgefield race-goers could follow all the action from Liverpool on a big screen.

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However, the highlight of the fixture was arguably the best dressed competition.

Immaculately presented women of all ages entered the contest but it was 18-year-old Parisa Marsden from Spennymoor who caught the judges’ eye.

Chris Phillips, from Hexham, and Chris Hughes, from Stokesley, scooped the runner’s up prizes.

Miss Marsden, a finalist in Miss Great Britain last year, said: “This is the first time I have been to a Ladies Day and I never expected to this to happen. I am delighted. I love my hat. I have had it for years.”

Richard Bland, of event sponsor, Be Premiere Hair Salons at Darlington, Middlesbrough and Barnsely, had the difficult task of judging the outfits, alongside fellow hairdresser and Big Brother winner Anthony Hutton, from Consett.

Mr Bland said: “It was a very tough choice as they all looked glamorous but we felt Parisa stood out.

"We loved the hat and the sophisticated black dress.”