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In Praise of Ring Stewards

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76 – July, 2017

By Peri Norman

It takes a village to put on a dog show. Many people must be involved in planning, organizing and working at any show, but few jobs are as underappreciated as that of the ring steward. Ring stewards are one of the unsung heros of the dog show. Jug- gling multitudinous jobs in service of the judge, the exhibitors and the club, the job can be likened to that of an office or administrative assistant, including the clause in the job description that reads “other duties as assigned”.

When queried about why she stewards, one regular volunteer of- fered the following explanation. She said, “I love the service aspect of the job. I can help make a more positive experience for the judge, the exhibitors and the dogs that come into my ring. My contribution to a smooth, enjoyable day helps the dog show to be more fun for everyone.” It takes a unique, upbeat attitude to enjoy wearing all the different hats that come with the job of Ring Steward!

This list includes some of the most important “defined” tasks that a steward performs, while many other duties fall into a more flexible concept. Stewards who are competent, kind and thought- ful make everyone’s day at the show easier and more fun.

One of the “extra” things a steward often does is being mindful of the judge’s comfort and well-being. It is true that each judge must be aware that their attitude toward exhibitors and workers at the show is their sole responsibility. Still, a steward can do some simple things to help a judge be at their best. Ask about a judge’s preferred beverages. Particularly in extremely hot or cold weather, the steward can keep a judge more comfortable and allow them to focus on the task of judging dogs without wonder- ing when the next cup of their preferred beverage is going to show up. An excellent steward can discreetly alert the judge about sig- nificant deviations from the show schedule. It is always better to get a kind nudge from your steward than a lecture from the field representative.

Click here to read the complete article
76 – July, 2017

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