Jessica’s Ride to Fashion
Jessica Kanowski was raised on a 50-acre pineapple farm in Wamuran, Queensland, which neighboured a horse and cattle property. Her fascination with horses began at an early age when she helped with the daily feeding of the horses next door.
This fascination then led to the assisting of showing horses at local events and becoming an avid rodeo watcher. 2010 saw Jessica attending her first Magic Millions race meeting on the Gold Coast, looking forward to the thunder of the hooves and the thrill of being introduced to the fashion scene. It was here that her love for Fashions on the Field was born after competing and placing in top 10. Soon after she purchased a sewing machine, which she used to bring her designs to life while she forged her passion for fashion, finery and fillies, that has now spanned eight years. Jessica said, “My love of racing fashion has afforded me many memorable experiences from travelling to racecourses around Australia, competing with like-minded creatives, forming fashionable friendships, modelling for local and overseas milliners in Myers Millinery Design category at Flemington, to seeing my conception of style being on display.’ Jessica balances her love of fashion with her dedication for teaching students with disabilities. She is a full-time Head of Special Education Services with Education Queensland, while currently studying her Masters of Special Education at the University of Southern Queensland. As the winner of the Peter Doherty Outstanding Teacher of Science Award and a NASA Space Camp attendee, she has combined her love of teaching and horse racing over the years. This has enabled Jessica to succeed in influencing future generations of people of all ages to develop a love of horses; plus her leading her students to be first past the post in the annual Brisbane Racing Club Horse Painting competition in 2011, and later placing in the Grinders Jockey Silks schools competition on AAMI Stradbroke Day in 2016. It wasn’t long before her passion for fashion included her immediate family, with her husband Steve and daughter Charlotte alongside her when she won Family Fashions on the Field on Doomben Cup Day in 2013. Jessica found the Fashions on the Field platform a unique and diverse way of displaying her creativity, helping her building confidence in daughter and herself, while forming friendships in the racing fashion community. Jessica explained, “Our daughter Charlotte was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when she was four years old. Over the years we have accessed many different types of therapies to assist her
with emotional regulation and social intelligence including speech therapy, occupational therapy and specialised social groups run by psychologists. One particular therapy that we recently tried was equine therapy; Rein Changer Essence of Life Children’s Program at Ricinda Ranch on the Gold Coast. Charlotte, having an affinity with animals was drawn to the mares and foals immediately and watching her confidence sore when working with the horses through grooming, feeding and leading them around the arena was a magical experience. I would definitely recommend equine therapy for children to promote empathy, confidence and a sense of responsibility.” Jessica said, “The arena of racing has become an essential part of my life, as a stage for travel, creativity, comradery and championing. It is a world like no other that encourages people from all walks of life to come together for the love of fashion, frivolity and fielding a frontrunner. I know I am not alone in promoting the continuation of the trifecta of fashion, racing and educating our future generations about an exciting industry full of opportunity”