Dos and Don’ts for our Cover Contest

I am fresh from reviewing all of the entries for the Hodges Badge Company 2011 Equestrian Catalog cover contest.   Thank you to everyone that submitted an entry! With next year in mind, I want to offer you a few tips on what works (and what doesn’t).  While the next deadline isn’t until October 2011, we will accept your submissions at any time during the year.

Here are the Don’ts:

  • Don’t submit another company’s ribbon or trophy.  The awards must be from Hodges.  No exceptions.
  • Don’t submit an out-of-focus award.  We need to be able to read the print.
  • Don’t try too hard to be cute. 
  • Don’t demonstrate unsafe riding.  Make sure your helmet fits, and don’t stand next to a horse while barefoot.
  • Don’t fail to consider your background composition- a porta-potty behind your horse, or telephone pole sprouting from the rider’s head etc.
  • Don’t cut off heads or feet!

And the Dos:

  • Do send photos of less frequently awarded items  such as trophies, medals and plaques. 
  • Send entries that are different- llama or donkey shows, driving, side saddle, vaulting, sledding rallies.  While I realize the majority of our customers ride English or Western, we need to represent all horse pursuits.
  • Feel free to send multiple photos.  If you send more than 10, please vary the composition, lighting, etc.
  • Follow the rules for your discipline – helmets on in the ring, keepers in place on your bridle, etc.
  • Respond when we call you! Every year at least one ‘winner’ fails to get back to us and we have to dig deeper for another photo.
  • Use a fill flash on sunny days – otherwise foreheads under helmets are too dark for us to use.
Advertisements

What’s the story behind that ribbon?

Once in a while, I come across an article that not only states who won an award at a fair, dog show, or horse show, but goes beyond to explain what the ribbon or trophy means.  Often times, it takes years of preparation and hard work to be competition-ready. 

This article from the Victoria (TX) Advocate shares the story of Rebecca Crain, a high school senior who just completed her last 4-H livestock show.    Eyeing her Grand Champion rosette, she says “This is ten years of work, right here.”  I hope you’ll click through for the full story.

I’m sure many more of our customers have a similar story to share about what it means to have won a ribbon or award.  I’d love to help you share your story here on the blog, so leave a comment or send an email to info@hodgesbadge.com

The IHSA Gets Back in Gear

While the return to college football undoubtedly receives more public attention, we at Hodges Badge know that fall college athletics are back for another reason- the start of IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) horse shows.   As a proud sponsor of and the Official Ribbon Supplier to the IHSA, we are happy to contribute to an organization which has made horse shows both more accessible and competitive.

Personally, I competed for four years as an undergraduate and will be back on campus to support my alma mater as a volunteer for Smith College’s home show this weekend.  So I understand how hard students work to prepare not only to compete, but to host events.  Know that here at Hodges, we strive to make ordering awards as easy as possible, so that at least one aspect of planning a show can be worry free.

If you’re a rider, coach, parent, volunteer or fan, good luck at your events this weekend and for the rest of the season!  We hope to meet you in person at Nationals in May!

PS- Need some creative ideas for your horse show ribbons?  We’ve recently seen orders using the school’s colors on side streamers, as well as universities putting their mascot in the rosette center.

PPS- If you are an IHSA rider or alumnus who’d like to share  your story about winning a memorable ribbon or award, we’d love to feature you on the blog.  Leave a comment and we’ll be in touch!

It’s Back! 3W Rosette Special

Earlier this spring we had a promotion that turned out to be quite popular.  Due to customer request, we have brought back the 3W Rosette Special.  From now through November 30, all Empire3W, Ideal3W, and Trent3W rosettes are on sale.  These are our classic rosettes with a twist to cut costs.  They feature a white gold rim center with any stock logo, a white center streamer with customized gold print and the rosette top and side streamers in your place color.

Your custom print cannot change from ribbon to ribbon (that means no placing or divisions can be printed).  Thinking of ordering multicolor or specialty side streamers?  Add them to your 3W rosette (standard charges apply) to take advantage of the savings.

In a hurry?  Rush orders can still take advantage of this offer.

Have a question? Leave a comment, send an email to info@hodgesbadge.com, or call Customer service at 800-556-2440.

Have you “liked” us on Facebook?

Shameless bit of self-promotion here.  Hope you don’t mind…

If you haven’t already “liked” Hodges Badge Company on Facebook yet, head on over and check out our page.  It’s where all the tidbits of Hodges and award-related information goes that isn’t quite hefty enough to make a full blog post.  Just this week we posted:

  • A link to a New York Times article about the Yorktown Grange Fair where you could see some Hodges ribbons.
  • Our weekly Friday Funny- this one goes out to our agility and dog enthusiasts.  Check out previous weeks for fair and equine funnies.
  • A sneak peek at a very special equestrian order we have put together (I’m not saying- you’ll have to check it out for yourself)
  • That our blog post on awards and ribbons of decades past was part of September’s Blog Carnival of the Horse.
  •  A dress covered in rosettes.  You never know what you’re going to find!

Marshfield Fair Visit

Last Friday, I headed up to the Marshfield Fair to watch the Demolition Derby.  While I didn’t make it to all the exhibits, here are some photos from the agricultural displays.  There were tons of our flat ribbons, as well as some of the Beauty rosettes awarded to the winners.

[rockyou id=158369818&w=500&h=375]

Do you have photos of Hodges ribbons from a fair, horse show, or other competition you’d like to show off?  I’d love to share them on the blog.  Send an email to info@hodgesbadge.com with “blog” in the subject line.

Why a Badge Company?

I realize there’s a small chance some of you may have ventured over to the Hodges History section of our website, but for those that haven’t, I wanted to write a post to explain why our company has its name– or more specifically, why it’s called Hodges Badge Company and not Hodges Awards, Hodges Ribbons, or some other variation on that theme.

While people today tend to use the word “badge” for police officer medallions, or company IDs, in 1920, when Hodges Badge Company was founded, a “badge” also referred to the name tag and attached ribbon frequently worn by fraternal orders, or social clubs, such as The Elks or the Knights of Columbus.  That’s how the company got its start- making badges for lodge meetings, parades, funerals and other fraternal gatherings.

Horse shows didn’t really become popular until the late 1930s, and Hodges didn’t start selling ribbons and awards to additional markets (gymnastics, swim, athletic, school) until much later.  Therefore, by the time we were manufacturing far more ribbons and rosettes than badges, the company name had already existed for several decades.

The company actually has considered changing names several times, as recently as last summer, when Hodges Ribbons & Awards was the popular choice.  Yet ultimately, honoring the 90 year family history of the company and keeping the original name won out. 

So now, when I travel to trade shows or meet someone and explain who I work for, I do have to take a moment to describe the type of products Hodges offers.  But honestly, it would seem strange to be working for Hodges Awards, since when I turned over my first horse show ribbon at age 10, it definitely said Hodges Badge.