This week has been a very surreal one. After getting scouted for a modeling competition for the Face of Ascot on Tuesday and selected as a finalist on Thursday, I headed back to Royal Ascot on Saturday for the judging.

The morning was filled with champagne receptions and meetings with the judges. In the afternoon we were taken to a photo shoot, a fashion show, and a lunch. We had time to watch some of the horse races before heading down to the catwalk area for the televised announcement of the winner on the BBC. I was a little nervous, but mostly just freezing cold.

Models in the Face of Ascot modeling competition at Royal Ascot

It was strange being on television because none of us could hear anything the judges and announcers were saying. It was all I could do to catch the line “the winner is not one of our English roses, but an American beauty…” At that point I knew that I had won the competition, and I was completely shocked.

Models posing during a photo shoot at Royal Ascot

In the blur that ensured, I was handed a bouquet of flowers that weighed about 15 pounds. The show wrapped up and I was overwhelmed by journalists, photographers, and people offering congratulations. My head was completely spinning.

Models on the BBC catwalk at Royal Ascot

When I finally had time to catch my breath I walked back to watch some more of the races and then went to the parade ring. There I met the race course executives and a number of other VIPs, and was given the honor of choosing and awarding the prize for the best groomed horse for the final race.

Face of Ascot at Royal Ascot

I went up to a suite to watch the race and then returned to the parade ring to be on TV once again as I awarded the prize to the winning owners, jockey, and trainer. Seeing a ginormous version of myself on the jumbotron was one of the strangest experiences I’ve ever had.

Models posing in the Face of Ascot modeling competition at Royal Ascot

I left the racecourse around 7pm. It took awhile to get a train, as the platforms were packed with people. When I finally boarded a train I had to stand for an hour in my four inch heels holding my 15 pound bouquet and having to keep my balance as there was nothing to hold onto. It was a nice way to come back down to earth after such an otherworldly day.

I arrived home at 9pm exhausted and starving, but completely happy and overwhelmed to be the Face of Ascot. What a week!

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