Thu, 02/09/2023 - 11:44am

Editorial: February 10, 2023

All those ribbons

Since the pandemic disrupted our world, we have learned to adjust to many changes, including new show dates, new show venues, premium lists that are only online and not mailed, and ditto for judging schedules that are only emailed to one person instead of the owner and handler. But not all has changed. Some show-giving clubs reward the winners at their shows with trophies that range from Tupperware salt-and-pepper shakers to anything silver-plated or pewter to original canine artwork. Now, trophies get a special place of honor in our homes. It justifies all the time and money and separation from your family. They are proudly displayed in a place of honor, right from the beginning of your dog-showing career. The first-place trophy from the 6 to 9 puppy class is replaced as you become more successful in the ring. Then the first trophy is replaced with the first major win trophy and so on, down to the first Best of Breed, the first Group placement, the first Group win, the first Reserve Best in Show, all the way to that coveted and always remembered first Best in Show trophy. But these days there are far fewer trophies awarded, unlike the old days, when a very famous, well-loved and frugal professional handler would conveniently have win photos taken without the trophy (or keep trophies unwanted by the client) so she could keep them and put them in her “gift closet” and regift as wedding, birthday or house-warming gifts. To this day, many display a wedding gift given by this person that started out as an unengraved Sporting Group trophy at the Ox Ridge Kennel Club. But we digress … What becomes of all those obligatory ribbons and rosettes our dogs win? The ones that are cherished by newcomers or thrown in the trash by disgruntled exhibitors on the way back to the setup (we do not endorse that, as it is a punishable offence), the same ones you find in the back seat of the van or jacket pocket that you last wore three months ago. Those very same ribbons you desperately try to win, then disregard. Some who excelled in home economics use their sewing machines to make curtains, table coverings, crate coverings and the like out of them. But most have little use for the shiny, colored, engraved ribbons. Fortunately, there are caring people like Greater Swiss Mountain Dog fancier, horse owner and show rider Sue Copeland. She requested that her friends donate their ribbons so they could be repurposed and given to handicapped children who were taken horseback riding. Started as a local project, it has grown, and now donates to children's hospitals, day-care centers for arts and crafts, and other projects. For those of you interested in starting a ribbon collection in your area, or who just want to contribute your old ribbons, please visit More information on starting a horse-therapy program is available at the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, or PATH International, website:



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