Duties of the Steward

Depending on a number of criteria, including class, judge’s preference, availability of personnel, there can be between one and three stewards per ring. There are typical roles for each steward but it is up to individual judges to decide how they wish to allocate duties on the day.

The Steward’s job is to ensure the ring runs smoothly in all aspects. They:

  • Assist the Judge to make this happen by being in the right place at the right time, ready to carry out all instructions.

  • Assist the Handler by being friendly, understanding, unobtrusive and considerate.

  • Assist the Dog by being in the background and making sure there is a smooth flow from one exercise to the next.

A well-run ring is a pleasure to judge and to compete in, even if, as is sometimes inevitable, things go pear-shaped for the handler and the dog.

General things to remember

  1. No matter at what level you are stewarding, some things never change:

  2. Arrive on time, usually at least 1/2 hour before judging time.

  3. Advise the Show Secretary that you have arrived and find out for which Judge you are stewarding. Ask to be introduced to the Judge if you don’t know him/her.

  4. Advise the Judge you are there and offer to assist in setting up their ring. Most Judges like to set up early and then have refreshments, other times they leave setting up until just prior to judging. It is up to you to be available when needed.

  5. At some stage, usually at or soon after setting up, the Judge will give clear instructions as to how they want things done. It may be confusing if you are inexperienced, so make sure you ask questions if you aren’t sure.

  6. The Judge is responsible for handing their completed score sheets to the Trial Secretary.

  7. Wear suitable clothing, appropriate for your position and the weather.

Running the Ring

  1. Your Judge will advise you about the conduct of your specific ring on the day. Even if you are experienced, listen well as each Judge may do things differently.

  2. Your position(s) will be explained – where the Judge wants you to stand, i.e. during and between events. Avoid unnecessary moving about.

  3. Don’t let people come up and distract you. If a handler wishes to speak to you, ask them to wait if you are needed during judging.

The following are the duties which will need to be executed by the steward(s) allocated to the ring.

Assembly Steward

  • The primary responsibility of the assembly steward is to ensure that the next event to be judged is immediately available when the judge indicates that he/she is ready. As soon as the judge begins judging the event in the ring, this steward calls the next event and ensures the handlers are at ringside before the event in the ring has completed their run. This steward has a clipboard list of dogs in Catalogue order.

  • Events must be judged in catalogue order to the extent that it is practical to do so. If the event listed next in the catalogue is not at ringside, the steward should call the next event in order. It is the handler responsibility to be present and ready when their number is called.

  • The steward should report any absentees to the judge.

  • Exhibitors may make requests for special consideration, such as asking to be judged out of catalogue order. Any request of this nature must be directed to the judge. This situation can occur when handlers are competing in various events that run concurrently.

  • Dogs can only be withdrawn during judging with permission of the Judge. If a handler approaches with this request, ask them to wait until you can relay it to the Judge, preferably between events.

Ring Steward

  • The judge may ask the ring steward to select the next Score Sheet from the clipboard and to hold the judge’s board during judging.

  • The steward will ensure that the class and proper armband number are entered correctly on the sheet. The ring steward may be asked to check that the scores on the worksheet have been added correctly (obedience). If an error is detected, the steward will bring it to the attention of the judge, who will enter any corrected score and time on the judge’s score sheet.

If you are interested in helping out on the day, please email the Show Secretary (show.wssdca@gmail.com) to register your interest, even a few hours will be very helpful to everyone on the day.