Wherever you encounter a wonderful city in the world, make sure to venture inland a few hours. As you explore the towns along the way, you will find that big city’s support network, where produce is grown, people are made as sturdy as their wares and dreams grow bigger than the main street buildings.
These beacons of history exist not only to sustain, but to connect us to our region’s foundations and offer experiences unlike any other. Amongst it all, the local racing club is a destination for celebration. There, you will find locals young and old, dressed in pride - traditional racing themes shining through their carefully thought-out ensembles. Country race meets create copious wins for regional communities, and the equine attraction is only one.
Just as you would not forget your felt hat when venturing to Coachella, you simply cannot visit rural towns without a study pair of boots. This humble accessory is not only for tackling the terrain, but a nod to the Australian story, embodying principles of hard-work, solidarity and supporting local enterprise.
Rossi Boots began in a tin shed, in the Adelaide backyard of founder Arthur Rossiter. 110 years later, the business is still family-owned and based in South Australia. According to Brand Marketing Manager Jayne-Anne Power, Rossi’s history, product quality and the commitment of the Rossiter family to the business’s core values make for a truly unique company.
“We’ve always made functional shoes that stand up to work, but within that we’ve made shoes for sport, motorcycle, shearing, climbing, horse riding, safety, fashion and boots for soldiers,” Jayne-Anne said. “We’ve survived by being responsive to changing trends and quick to market,” she said. “We’ve also taken advantage of new technologies, adopting technical innovations in our machinery and using up to date materials in our products.”
During the depression in 1930, Arthur Rossiter took Rossi on the road across trade shows to sell enough shoes to support his staff – the company’s community involvement is still strong today. “Our most prominent community participation is focused on the Hutt St Centre’s ‘Walk a Mile in my Boots’ fundraising event,” Jayne-Anne said.
“We are a founding member of that event and are proud to support homeless people in this way,” she said. “We love what Hutt St Centre do for vulnerable South Australians without a home.”
Although Rossi Boots are embedded in South Australian history, they are far from a relic. The footwear legacy is gaining relevance in modern fashion, particularly at the races. “A new generation is discovering Rossi Boots as the Aussie elastic-side boots becomes an iconic global trend,” Jayne-Anne said. “Our audience is becoming younger and our export growth has helped us to engage with new audiences all over the world.”
Rossi Boots make the perfect trackside accessory for form and function, even more so when venturing to a regional racing club as the earth transitions from scrub to sand. At last year’s Melbourne Cup, Myer’s VIP guest Paris Jackson even wore an ankle boot with her coral lace, bohemian-style Morrison dress.
Jayne-Anne recommends pairing a suit with a grey suede desert boot or a dress with a flat dress boot. “Ladies, comfort is chic,” Jayne-Anne said. “Enjoy your race day, don’t endure it,” she said. “Why leave the track with heels in hand when you can rock an elastic side boot with a skirt?”
Jayne-Anne said men also do not have to sacrifice style to be comfortable. “We have fab casual-to-dress options that you can rock with a suit while relying on the ‘mud’ shedding tread to keep you tidy,” Jayne-Anne said.
Jayne-Anne believes there’s no going past a suit when styling a men’s racing look, especially with this season’s patterns and colour pop trends. “Our styles suit dressing up or down,” Jayne-Anne said.
“There’s traditional leather dress boots, suede desert boots and plenty of people dress up their work boots for an on-trend take on every day comfort,” she said. “Comfortable shoes are our thing, so we think comfort is always fashionable!”
This season, Jayne-Anne is most excited for racing events in the sunshine, bubbles in hand, while watching the Fashion At The Races competitions. “Aussies love the outdoors, connecting to the country and having a great time,” Jayne-Anne said.
“The friendly, relaxed feeling is so much fun,” she said. “It gets people together to celebrate and, for the fashionable, to dress up and have a moment to shine.”
Our Street Style segments frequently capture ankle boots with suits and skirts alike, so start your ensemble from the shoe up and think about entering our FATR competition. After all, these boots were made for winning. To satiate your country racing curiosity, pack your pair and plan your adventure with the FATR calendar.
You can find our ambassador Lauren Dilena hosting five major racing events throughout the upcoming season, starting with the Murray Bridge Christmas Cup on December 2, Strathalbyn Cup on February 3, Adelaide Cup on March 11 and Oakbank Easter Races on April 20.