Another lovely win for family

Feilding family make prize their own

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 12/02/2013
Denise Kirby
ROBERT KITCHEN/ Fairfax NZ
BEAUTY: Denyse becomes the latest member of the Kirby family to win the title of Miss New Zealand Grand Prix.

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It should come as no surprise that another member of a Feilding family known for its lineage of loveliness has scooped a Manawatu beauty title.

Denyse Kirby won the title of Miss New Zealand Grand Prix at the weekend, following in the footsteps of her elder sister Claire, who won the Miss Manawatu competition in 2007 and Miss Earth the same year.

As the youngest of four daughters, Miss Kirby, 18, said being blessed with beauty was a family trait, but she and her sisters were down-to-earth women.

"Both my sister [Claire] and I have ended up in this unexpectedly," she said.

"All of us girls are kind of a combination of farm and beauty . . . we've always enjoyed going out and playing in the mud, we're not scared of getting dirty or getting involved in things."

Miss Kirby was home-schooled and said she entered the Miss Grand Prix competition as a chance to broaden her horizons and increase her confidence.

"I thought I would take up the opportunity to do that sort of thing, you know, it's just a fun thing to do."

Despite the cat calls and wolf whistles from guys on the grid this weekend, the competition was a stepping stone for bigger things, she said.

"It's a good platform, it gives you the opportunity to learn how to hold yourself in public and in front of crowds."

The Miss Grand Prix inaugural titleholder, Hayley Robinson, went on to take out the Miss Manawatu crown last year.

Miss Kirby entered the Miss Manawatu competition last year, but said she would not mind taking another stab at it again in a few years' time.

In the meantime her focus is on a new job as a community support worker with Health Care New Zealand, helping to build towards her long-term goal of being a nurse, and saving for a Camp America placement as a gymnastics instructor in Pennsylvania in June.

Manfeild Park chief executive Heather Verry said the Miss New Zealand Grand Prix event was more than just a beauty contest.

The concept went beyond the catwalk and the idea was to offer opportunity for contestants to become immersed in the glamour and excitement of New Zealand's biggest national championship motor-racing event, with an attractive prize purse adding to the appeal, she said.

Miss Kirby won $1000, which will go towards her Camp America savings.

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- Manawatu Standard

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