I Love Ring Stewards Who . . .

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Perhaps the most unsung worker at the cat show is the humble ring steward.

Usually a youngster, the ring steward's duties includes cleaning and disinfecting the judging cage in between cats.

Totally unglamorous, yet this job is one of the most important in the show ring. While a good ring steward helps keep the judging moving smoothly, a poor ring steward can result in the judging slowing to a snail's pace - resulting in added stress on the cats, exhibitors and judges alike!

Responsibilities of the Ring Steward

The function of the steward is to thoroughly clean every judging cage before the next cat is placed in it to be judged. This cleaning process utilizes a disinfectant and deodorizing solution that is sprayed into each cage. Just as the judges clean their hands and judging stand in between cats, this cage cleaning process is another step to eliminate the transfer of diseases from cat to cat.

As cats are removed from the ring, the steward sprays the cleaning solution into each cage and then uses paper towels to wipe down all sides and the bottom. It is essential that each cage be thoroughly dry before the next cat is placed in it.

Where Do Ring Stewards Come From?

Service organizations such as the Brownies, Girl Scouts, Boy Scout troops or 4-H groups often accept stewarding assignments at shows as a means of earning money for their group. Donations to the organization are made by the sponsoring club.

In addition, the youngsters are able to earn badges for their work at the cat show.

As an alternative to approaching a community group, a club may ask children of exhibitors or friends who may also be interested in earning extra money for a day or two of work.

Ideally a show needs at least one steward per ring.

How Much Should A Ring Steward Be Paid?

While each club decides how much they are willing to pay a steward, $250-$300 for the weekend is not unusual as a donation to a group of stewards. A child may be paid $20-$30/day plus lunch provided for the weekend.

Expectations

It must be stressed to stewards that they must be devoted to the job at hand. If they need to leave the ring while judging is in progress, they need to ask their ring clerk for permission and they must return promptly.

A Learning Opportunity

Stewarding can be a learning opportunity for the children involved. Besides having the opportunity to see and admire many cats up close, a steward can learn much about the handling of cats and observe the judge’s handling techniques with the various breeds.

I Love Ring Stewards Who . . .

Ring stewards can either make or break the orderly progression of a cat show. Well done stewarding is an integral part of a smoothly run show.

I love ring stewards who . . .

  • Are attentive and are aware of what is happening in their ring.
  • Remain in the show ring so the ring clerk clerk doesn't spend the day chasing them all over the show hall.
  • Understand what the word "dry" means so no exhibitor has to dry their own cage a second time or (worse) end up with a damp cat.
  • Are tall enough to reach the back of the judging cage . . . so it is both clean and dry :-)

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