301 — Ring Stewards: The Unsung Heroes of the Dog Show


Ring Stewards: The Unsung Heroes of the Dog Show

Kevin Ellingson, member of the Professional Stewards Association of Northern California, started ring stewarding in 2006 as a way to learn more about the sport while his wife was showing Cavalier King Charles Spaniels .

Ellingson said a couple of the most important things he learned when he started stewarding were to “respect the judge’s time and that judges are people too.”

“Ring stewards are ambassadors to the dog show world,” Ellingson said. “For new exhibitors, stewards may well be their first contact with the sport.”

From the PSANC website:

“A good dog show steward makes the work of judging a dog show easier by relieving the judge of unnecessary details. By assembling classes promptly, one will be able to keep the judging on schedule and eliminate, to a large extent, delays between classes.

Main Professional Steward duties:

  • Hand out armbands and mark absentees
  • Confirm with the judge the procedures that s/he wish to see carried out
  • Assemble classes promptly and check to see that those entering the ring are wearing the correct armband
  • Keep an eye on the clock to make sure the judge is on time
  • Keep an accurately marked catalog noting placements, absentees and disqualifications
  • Prepare ribbon and trophy awards for each class
  • Keep the ring neat and clean, watching to make sure everything is running smoothly
  • Assist exhibitors (new, experienced, or professional) to make them comfortable and at ease; treat all exhibitors professionally and with courtesy and respect (be cautious to not be too familiar with exhibitors to ensure professionalism)
  • Contact show photographer, superintendent, or AKC Representative as needed
  • In general, it is your duty to make the experience efficient and pleasurable for everyone.”

Learn more about this critical role at the dog shows. Ellingson provides a rundown of all the jobs the steward handles and why exhibitors should always be nice to the ring steward.


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