The Ring Steward: Just One of the Unsung Heroes

The Ring Steward: Just One of the Unsung Heroes

The Ring Steward: Just One of the Unsung Heroes | No matter the area of interest in which you compete, there is a great group of very special people that makes it all possible. Each event has a club sponsor, an event chair, and numerous volunteers who work hard over many months of preparation to put on the shows, trials, and events that we all enjoy.

I call these hard-working dedicated fanciers and volunteers the unsung heroes of our sport. There are many areas that we could identify and pay homage to, but in this column, I would like to celebrate the ring stewards at our many events.

Excellent ring stewards can—and often do—make all the difference in the world for the successful running of any ring, whether it be conformation, obedience, rally, agility, and so on. These individuals work hard to assist both the judges and the exhibitors with keeping things organized and running smoothly.

Many of us who go back several decades in the sport remember the time when almost all clubs provided their ring stewards from volunteers within the club’s membership or from individuals who might be preparing to apply for approval to judge. Many of these individuals did a fine job but, on occasion, they were not familiar with the rules and procedures needed for success. As the number of clubs and shows grew, the membership inside these clubs would often rather exhibit at their show than work or assist as ring stewards. Back in the day, it was generally accepted that club members did not show at their home shows and used that day or weekend as a time to give back to the sport by working at their own local clubs’ shows and trials.

As the saying goes, times change. In today’s world, with many clubs experiencing declining or aging memberships, it is often a challenge for clubs to cover every need and provide the number of people necessary to put on a show. Many years ago, several groups started cropping up throughout the country to provide “profes