Specific and professional methods of ribbon preservation are largely unknown. The Guelph Turf Club ribbon was carefully handled and stored in a clean file folder. The ribbon was kept clean and in a flat place where kinking and creasing can be avoided. The handling of the ribbon when being viewed by examiners is strongly encouraged to be careful and always be handling the ephemera with clean hands and the intention to allow future viewers to see the ephemera that you’re working with in the same condition in which you enjoyed it in. It's always encouraged that one avoids handling food and drink around ephermeral items.
Ultimately the preservation of the ephemera lies in the beholder. The ephemera we had the pleasure of viewing is carefully preserved and cared for by the University of Guelph Library Archives and Special Collections division which does an outstanding job in handling and preserving the ephemera it collects. The ribbon itself very well could have been kept by a member of the Sleeman family or a business associate who was involved with the Guelph Turf Club.
Speculatively it could have been donated by a member of the Sleeman family for further preservation and study. There is clearly a connection to the family as it was from the Sleeman ribbon collection. The ribbon when viewed in the archives was is excellent condition, there was no discolouration and the lettering hadn’t chipped in the slightest. Besides some strands of fabric that have disconnected from the weave, there is very little that has changed with the ribbon since it’s useful period. It is clear that whomever was the owner of this piece or whomever was in charge of its care took exceptional care of the ephemera.