IT was the Bendigo Cup that fuelled Rebecca Share's love of millinery.
She was 16, and attended the races as part of her studies at Bendigo Senior Secondary College.
That was more than 17 years ago.
Nowdays, the Geelong-based designer makes hats for a variety of high-profile people, among them Giaan Rooney, Brodie Harper and Fifi Box.
But the mother-of-two says she regularly travels back to the area and will do so again this Bendigo Cup to judge the Myer fashions on the field.
"I love the feel of country races," she said.
"The effort people go to (with their outfits) is inspirational.
"I am really looking forward to it."
Ms Share said black and white, and yellow were popular colours this year, as was small and structured millinery.
She said hats that perched on the forehead were a trendsetter this spring racing season.