Most people know that a good ring stewards makes a world of difference in the experience of the exhibitors, spectators, and even the judge! The ring steward has a large responsibility that goes beyond what many people realize. Ring stewards are sometimes the first person an exhibitor encounters when preparing their dog for the ring. These hard working individuals help keep the ring working efficiently. Finally, the books marked by the ring steward assist AKC when placements are called into question.
A ring steward that is pleasant and enjoying their job provides a positive first impression on exhibitors. When an exhibitor (new or experienced) is preparing for the ring, one of the many things they must do is pick up their armband. Stewards are the ones to provide these to the exhibitors and their attitude can set the tone for the rest of the day. Exhibitors should keep in mind all the responsibilities of the ring steward and be patient when collecting their armband. If the steward is in the middle of marking the ring placements, that is not the time to make your presence known!
Ring stewards assist the judge in keeping the ring running efficiently. When a judge has a large assignment, a good ring steward will often times have the next class accounted for and ready to enter the ring. This helps the judge work in a timely manner and stay on schedule. Exhibitors should also be paying close attention to how the judge (and the ring steward) is operating so they are not late or holding up the ring.
One of the most important responsibilities the ring steward has is to mark their catalog with ring placements. This becomes even more important when a placement is called into question. After an exhibitor has contacted AKC regarding an incorrectly marked placement several things happen. One of those things is to sometimes call upon the ring steward to check their book. If the ring steward has been checking armbands and placements for each class their book is accurately marked and can assist AKC in giving proper credit to a dog. Some ring stewards (especially at a large specialty) will call the placements out for spectators who may not see the armband knows from a distance.
The ring steward is a vital role at any dog show! These individuals are the first impression and the backbone of a great dog show. They assist exhibitors, judges, AKC, and spectators throughout the day. Next time you are at a show take notice of some of the hardest working people there – the ring stewards.