Unconventional Ribbon Colors

Unconventional Ribbon Colors

Once upon a time, the show series I showed at the most was a huge fan of nontraditional ribbon colors. Every 1-8 had a rainbow stripe down the middle and I have some rather interesting champion ribbons from various divisions.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a satin addict regardless of color so if a ribbon is big with a pretty medal medallion – I’m thrilled… even if it is orange, brown and dark red (true story).

However, when it comes between a purple tri-color or the traditional Blue/Red/Yellow… I prefer the traditional. There are some cute reasons to go nontraditional though, like a schooling show centered around a holiday.

Red & White "Sixth" for a Valentine's Day Show
Red & White “Sixth” for a Valentine’s Day Show
Photo courtesy of A Filly's Best Friend
Photo courtesy of A Filly’s Best Friend

Or maybe your show series has a trademark color or theme?

Photo courtesy of A Filly's Best Friend
Photo courtesy of A Filly’s Best Friend
Photo courtesy of A Filly's Best Friend
Photo courtesy of A Filly’s Best Friend
Photo courtesy of Suzanne A
Photo courtesy of Suzanne A

Or, the “strange” colors can mean something specific… like these TIP ribbons.

Photo courtesy Brandi W
Photo courtesy Brandi W

Overall though, I’m a stickler for the traditional. There’s just something very classic about those bold primary colors.

What do you think?

28 thoughts on “Unconventional Ribbon Colors

    1. disagree. One of the first tri-colors that Prair won was at an October show and the tri-colors were black and orange. STRONGLY DISLIKE. The next year we were qualified for the zone awards which were handed out simultaneously, so I wasn’t as grumpy… .but still. I think for people who win ribbons ALL the time, sometimes the novelty colors are fun (these are the same people who are “over” coolers). But when you are just barely scraping and saving and mange your first ribbon, or first tri, or whatever… the funny colors can detract from the sense of accomplishment. In full disclosure, I might be a *tad* OCD about my ribbon wall, so maybe it’s just me.

  1. Totally traditional – though I really like the ones that are all a certain color scheme for a specific themed show or holiday show. What gets me for some reason is the traditional color ribbons that have the non-traditional buttons – especially there are some really cheesy stock-photoy looking ones out there that just rub me the wrong way for some reason. I respect all my ribbons though, so I certainly wouldn’t complain about it if I got one of those those! Probably wouldn’t put it on display like I do some of my others though.

  2. I’m more of a traditional girl too, unless there is a theme to the show, and then I can make an exception. Traditional will always be my favorite, though.

    I have several of those rainbow ribbons myself from back in the day when I showed a then yearling Lilly at JCHSS!

    1. Oh man, I have SO many JCHSS rainbow ribbons! I wish they retired that trend when I was still showing there 🙂 I ended up making a belt out of a lot of my rainbow streamers.

  3. I love the traditional ribbons for horse shows, with the exception of holiday themed ribbons (Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s day).
    However, the model horse shows locally do all kinds of crazy rosettes for champs, and those are really fun, too.

  4. If I had to pick between something really outrageous vs traditional, I’d go with traditional. But I love it when there’s something a little different about a ribbon. Like I won a fourth place ribbon that had light gray on it and wasn’t just plain white. Something to make it stand out. My pony club put on a Halloween horse show every year and they had orange, white, and black ribbons (they just said the placing on it, all looked the same), which at the time I hated, but looking back, they were super cute!

  5. Hmm tough one – I would be hard pressed to turn down a ribbon, regardless of the colour. The rainbow ones are maybe a bit much – I can see a younger crowd liking those. The Halloween ribbons are pretty neat though! Also like the green TIP ones…

  6. I like the purple one, but traditional wins me out every time. It’s the recognition of WHAT the colors mean. I can see tri color ribbons and instantly KNOW it means Champion or Res. Champion.

    I did get a 4th place in our first CDE. It was a pretty grey and white ribbon with long streamers. More than anything though is the horse that won the ribbon, putting more meaning into the ribbon itself.

  7. Traditional wins with me, but I do love a good a good color scheme if it does have to be funky. Like my third place neck ribbon. It was turquoise, black and white and it is bad ass. Not sure if it is because the neck ribbon part is an added bonus though.

  8. I prefer traditional. We recently won a reserve division champion ribbon that was brown and orange. (Bought on clearance? Or an old supply they found from 1974? a mystery, lol ) That being said, I tend to donate them back so it doesn’t really matter what color they are 🙂

  9. In New Zealand, purple is standard/traditional ‘champion’ colour. Red is first place, but if there is a ‘champion’ class or placing then purple is very traditional. I assumed it would be the same overseas.. interesting 🙂

  10. No non traditional colors everrrrr. I have a few purple Champion ribbons and all it looks like is that I’m really good at seventh place.

  11. i like traditional bc they need no explanation – they’re recognizable for what they are. but then again i have some very pretty non-traditional ones too (including one very pretty floral ribbon that’s a bit reminiscent of your tropical show series example above. idk, a pretty ribbon is a pretty ribbon – esp if a fun memory is attached 🙂

  12. I definitely prefer traditional for a rated show, but I think the others are a lot of fun for a special occasion or schooling show! I also like the idea of the “trademark” photo above, where the center is the traditional color and the surrounding part is the show’s colors. A little different but still follow tradition.
    The only show I went to that was non traditional with their ribbons was Monmouth in NJ. They did tri colors for every placing and the ribbons were HUGE! Unfortunately it was the worst show ever for us and we somehow didn’t manage to pick up my ribbon! (I’m still bummed about not having that ribbon. But between the colicky horse that had to go the clinic and the trainer flipping her jumper over and going to the hospital overnight, picking up that ribbon just wasn’t essential at the time. NIGHTMARE!)

  13. Traditional. It’s universal and everyone can tell your placing from a distance without staring too hard 🙂

  14. I love traditional ribbon colors, but when I decide to do DIY projects, I find myself wishing I had more fourth and fifth place ribbons lol.

  15. I prefer traditional, although I will say the traditional with a spin (like the Tropical Show ribbon you posted a photo of here) is also pretty cool, I think.

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