Guidelines for Ring Stewards at Dog Shows
1. Stewards have at least 75% role is smoothly running of any show. Despite this many think that stewardship is a very easy thing and therefore very few take it seriously. I am giving some tips, rules, code of conduct and general guidelines. Not only stewards but the exhibitors must know these.
- Steward will call the exhibitors according to the catalog numbers and line the dogs. If anyone is missing steward will call the number twice and if the exhibitor still does not come, he will loudly say “ABSENT” and ask Judge to start judging. No such thing as “LAST CALL”.
- After line up, the Steward will go the Judge and say for example “Intermediate Class Bitches ten dogs”.
- After lining up, Steward will stand back well away from the Judge. Steward will not shadow the judge or come near him during judging. Some novice stewards keep hanging around judge during judging.
- Steward will NOT repeat NOT help exhibitor or Judge in checking teeth or testicles. This is the job of the Judge only. Some Stewards bend down with the judge when he is checking teeth. This is wrong; Steward must be away from the judge and exhibitors.
- When judge ask exhibitors to walk or trot, Steward will not pass instructions to handlers like “keep distance” or “trout fast” and so on. Only Judge can say this; Steward must keep mum during judging.
- After Judge has finished judging, Steward goes to the Judge to records grading and placing and announces the results.
- The writer Steward, fills the Award Card and gives it to every Exhibitor.
- In FCI system, EACH DOG HAS TO BE GRADED “EXCELLENT”, “VERY GOOD”, “GOOD”, “SUFFICIENT”, “DISQUALIFIED” AND “CANNOT BE JUDGED”.
- Please note in FCI system dogs are NOT repeat NOT graded as Excellent 1, Excellent 2 or Very Good 1 or very good 2 etc. This is done in Germany and they write in German Language V1 SG 1 etc in Germany. These are German language words meaning:-
- VA “Vorzüglich Auslese” Selection of Excellent
- V “Vorzüglich” Excellent
- SG “Sehr Gut” Very Good
- G “Gut” Good
- As German Shepherd Dogs have always dominated dog scene in Pakistan dog fanciers try to copy German language terms in All Breed and Breed Specialty shows also.
- Writer Steward must not write V1 or Excellent-1. Just right Excellent. Excellent grading means the dog is Excellent specimen of the breed. Whether the dog is 1, 2 or 3 depends on which other dogs were in the line-up and so dog’s excellence in no way is affected.
- If a dog does not show teeth as quite a few dogs don’t because owners do not train them, steward should not come in to help or call some “EXPERT” from out side the ring to come in. Only the handler is supposed to show the teeth and if dog does not show teeth or testicle, judge will grade dog “ CANNOT BE JUDGED” and Steward should ask the exhibitor to leave the ring. In Pakistan, many foreign judge are lenient knowing the level of handling so give room to handler in this. In other countries if a dog does not show teeth, out he goes.
- When handing over card to Class Winner or BOB, Steward may tell handler that the dog has to come again to compete in the next class. As a matter of fact, owner themselves must know this but as many owners do not make themselves conversant with the system, Steward may advise them.
2. DON’TS FOR STEWARDS
- Do not smoke in the Ring. FCI has said in a circular that Dog Shows are sporting events and smoking is injurious to health so must be discouraged.
- Do not use mobile phone in the ring. This can give impression that something is being fixed.
- Do not talk to spectators standing along the ring.
- In the ring, whether judge is judging or standing idle NO CONVERSATION with the judge.
- Steward may ask Judge if he wants a cold drink or coffee but no other conversation.
- Do not be rude with an exhibitor or spectator.
- Do not tell credentials of the dog. Only thing a Judge is entitled to know is the date of the birth of a dog.
- When judging is going on, do not make announcements like “Handlers are working hard…clap and encourage handlers” or ask spectators to clap or pass remark on dogs. This is not Steward’s job and such announcements also distracts Judge, dogs and also can give a wrong signal to some.
- Do not be late for the Show. A Steward must reach venue at least one hour before the show to check details and set up of the ring.
3. TIPS FOR STEWARDS
- Come in the ring well dressed. Stewardship is a formal appointment so keep dignity of your official status. FCI only says “Steward must be appropriately dress”. In almost all Kennel Clubs of the world, Judges and Stewards are not allowed in the ring without a coat and necktie and jeans and T Shirts are forbidden. KCP has not prescribed a dress rule but it is expected that our Stewards and Judges are well groomed and will come well dressed.
- Get fully conversant with the FCI system including ages of classes. Sometimes wrong dog comes in the ring in a wrong class. Unless a Steward knows the system, he will not detect mistakes which will result in wrong judging as Judge does not have a catalog.
- Understand “Comeback System” well to ensure Second Best in Group or BIS etc., is called. If you do not call the correct dog, the owner will protest after the show.
- Mark Local Bred Winner carefully so no Local Bred is missed.
- Learn and remember which breeds are in which FCI Group. It looks stupid when a Steward runs out of the ring and asks a senior that what is the group of such and such breed. In the past, at times, wrong dogs were called in wrong group which was pointed out by the Judge which gives poor impression of Steward. Some owners themselves do not know groups of their breeds.
- Remember IN ONE BREED, ONLY ONE MALE AND ONE FEMALE CAN GET CACIB. Believe it or not, in more than one show, more than one CACIB was awarded in one breed. When later compiling results to send to FCI, the Steward’s explanation was that the Judge wanted to award CACIB to all more dogs. It is the duty of the Steward to ensure CACIBs and for that matter all awards are given according to rules. If Judge is violating any rule vis-à-vis awards, Steward’s duty is to correct the Judge because Judge does not have a catalog so he will award to what is presented to him.