So where did it all begin? What is the relevance and significance of trophies and ribbons and how has it changed over time? In truth, it’s probably not something you have ever spent a great amount of time wondering about. Could it be that little thought in the back of your mind that makes you wonder where it all began?
The symbol of trophies has been around since ancient times. Except back then a trophy over a war or battle was more likely to have been a column or building signifying the win. Well, times have changed. You don’t get presented with a Greek column for taking first place at your local gymkhana. Modern day equestrian trophies or cups, in this case, came about in the mid-1600’s. One of the first trophies recorded for eventing was a small sterling chalice that was the prize for a horse race between two towns in New England.
Chalices or cups as we more modernly refer to them have been for a long time the stock standard prize for winning when competing in horse events. Be it flat racing or other equestrian forms. The traditional metal for cups was silver, however, modern economics, quality and quantity has seen this metal replaced by cheaper, more durable metals.
Some of the largest horse racing events on today have retained the grandness of a chalice. Take the Kentucky Derby for example. One of the largest horse racing events in the world and the first of the Triple Crown events. There are four trophies allocated for the for the winning horse. The owner receives a gold 18 carat gold trophy; a horse and rider sit atop with horseshoe shaped handles either side. Sitting at 22 inches tall and weighing 56 ounces this is no small prize. Half sized silver replicas are also presented to the jockey, trainer and breeder of the winning horse. What a trophy!
Let’s keep moving onto through the winners circle. Medals are a more popular trophy amongst equestrian eventing circles, especially the International circuit. Both the Olympics and World Equestrian Games present medals of gold, silver and bronze. These medals are coveted no matter what sport you play globally.
Ribbons come in such a large array of fabrics, colours, styles and sizes. Top placing in their winning field takes home a ribbon. Different countries have different colour systems for 1st through to 10th place. In line with ribbons are rosettes. Both will often have the event, category and placing printed on them for ease when presenting. Rosettes have a printed circular button with the event, placing and category similar to ribbons. It then has several layers of frilled satin or polyester in contrasting colours and sizes neatly pleated and surrounding the button like a lion’s mane.
Don’t think this is all about the riders and nothing for the horses. Oh no, rosettes and v-sashes are also specially designed with pins to adorn even the most beautiful of horses. V-Sashes are placed around a horse’s neck and fastened with a rosette that sits on the chest of the horse. Writing is printed on both sides so it can be read from any angle.
V-Sashes, ribbons and rosettes are also hugely popular amongst agricultural shows and exhibitions globally. Modern technology has enabled these products can be sourced quickly and locally, individualised and with the ability to order 1 or 1000.
So as your trophy room or cabinet grows and expands shed a thought to where it all came from and how far it has come. As you dust and rearrange, your collection take the time to enjoy these treasures. Sure they aren’t a Greek column or an 18 carat gold cup but they are yours and well deserved for all the work you and your horse have put into competing.
See more here on Pinterest