100 Year Anniversary Rosette Contest Winners

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2020 Contest Winner - Laura Sager

As a child I would open the box of my mother’s ribbons and gallop around with them flying from the bridle of my stick horse, dreaming of winning my own someday. At horse shows, I would admire the big Champion and Reserve ribbons hanging on display and hope to win one. I did eventually win a big one when I was 14 and I continue to win them every now and then. I have saved every ribbon I have ever won as each carries special memories of time spent doing something I love with the horses I couldn’t live without. I also keep safe my mother’s ribbons as they too hold fond memories of playing pretend ‘horse show’ with my sisters, jumping over sticks and racing around obstacles aboard the extraordinary stick horses our mother made for us. Hodges are my favorite and carry a distinctive look you can spot right off. So, when charge of selecting ribbons, I choose the biggest and most beautiful ones affordable as I know there is a young girl or boy dreaming of winning one.

2020 Honorable Mention - Karen Cannon

I have loved horses since I was a young girl. After several riding lessons, my cousin (a lifelong horsewoman herself) trailered a pony to this horse show for me to ride. I won this 4th place ribbon that day! (My cousin could not believe I still had this ribbon.) I have owned and cared for my own horses for many years. I was a “horse show Mom” to my daughter. This year will be my 18th year as Treasurer of the Harford Horse Shows Association. As the Treasurer, I have run the show office for over 50 shows. My love of horses, horse showing and the support of many HHSA members, has kept me in this volunteer position all these years! Sadly, I have decided to resign from the HHSA board at the end of this year. I am passing all my knowledge and experiences to some new and younger board members who will be running the show office. I can thank my cousin, and this little ribbon for starting it all.

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2020 Honorable Mention - Emily Bancroft

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I was nine in 1955 when I won my first ribbon at my hometown Hardwick Fair. This was a third place for assorted handicrafts. The name on the back of this ribbon was Hodges with an address of Boston, 16, Mass.I had to wait until 1962 when I was 15 to earn my first rosette, again made by Hodges. That year I was a member of the town 4-H sewing club. Worcester County sponsored an area window exhibit contest for National 4-H week in March. To advertise the 4-H program, exhibits needed to be set up in store windows for good visibility. In a larger town, this would have been easy to do, but Hardwick had few available store windows. I set up a sewing display in our town library, the Paige Memorial. Our area included several larger towns, but my display was judged best and I was awarded that first rosette. The Worcester newspaper featured me and my ribbon in the March 19, 1962 issue.

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All these many years later, I still win rosettes for outstanding exhibits not only at the Hardwick Fair but others in the region. Looking through my scrapbooks, I have been taking a stroll down memory lane. I remember many of the items that won those awards. Although other people may have won many more rosettes than I have, I still get excited after over 200 in my collection. One hundred and forty-one of these rosettes are from Hodges.

The Hardwick Fair began in 1762. As it was a market fair, I doubt that ribbons were awarded in the early years. I have no idea what awards were given in the 1800’s. I do know that ribbons were awarded in the early 1900’s. Although not all of these ribbons were from Hodges, I find that whoever did the ordering kept coming back to your company. The earliest Hodges I found in the Historical Society archives is from 1953. Over the years I have been active on several committees for the fair and in 2001 became the judging coordinator. That means I order the ribbons and rosettes and buttons for our prizes. I was told that the first order in your modern files was in 1998. So when I took the job, I continued that tradition.

I look back at my first ribbon and rosette and remember how excited I was to receive them. I still get excited when one of my art or craft projects wins a rosette. Today, in my role as the “ribbon orderer” I hope that an exhibitor to our fair will feel that same excitement whether this is their first rosette or one hundred and first. At the Hardwick Fair, rosettes are the ultimate goal for each of our commodities. Winning one or more means that the person who made that exhibit did an outstanding job. The work was worth the effort and I feel good that I can make that person proud of the project.