Purpose and Function

George Sleeman

George Sleeman Sr. (City of Guelph, 2016) 

The exact purpose of the ribbon is unknown but it is clearly states on the badge that it was in fact the ‘Director’ badge for the 1894 summer races at the club. It can be speculated that it was a form of identification for all the executives of the club that had to be worn around the venue during the time of the event. Or it could simply be a memento of another successful year for the Turf Club’s summer racing event.

It can be speculated that even if a form of identification that not all participants and employees around the venue received this elegant piece of ephemera. The silk satin ribbon was most likely only awarded to executives such as the president or director of the event. The ribbon was most likely a form of identification for executive members of the venue were thereafter kept as mementos of the occasion.

It is clear that different ribbons were distributed for different events at the club as this ribbon is clearly titles the 1984 summer races; but there were several other races that took place at the Guelph Turf Club as they were holding races as far back as 1847 (Thorning, n.d.). These races typically catered to upper class individuals who could enjoy the likes of taking in such events. With purses of upwards of $200 is some cases for these events (Thorning, n.d.), the classy piece of ephemera that we see today was likely tailored to stay in touch with the elegence of the event, a status symbol one could say.