Dressage Ring Steward Volunteer Position
The primary responsibility of the Ring Steward is to make sure that the competitors go in on time and in the correct order.
At the start of the day the Ring Steward should have “Order of Go” sheets (also called “Day Sheets”). You will receive this list along with supplies at the Volunteer Booth upon check in. Whenever you leave your post, please be sure to return all supplies to the Volunteer Booth.
The “Order of Go” sheets will have the competitor’s name, horse’s name, bridle number and time of go. If any scratches are known at this time, they will be noted on the “Order of Go” sheets as well.
The ring steward should track which riders are on-deck or are in the warm-up ring. At LYDF, we require the competitors to be at the arena, know who the rider is in front of them, their own ride time, their own ring number and the dressage test they will be riding. All this information is available on the day sheets in front of the secretary’s office, if a rider requests that information. It is very helpful to tell the next person who is next to go, that he or she is on-deck.
The process should be as follows:
- At the start of the day, confirm your Ring Sign is correct, Ring #, and if the judge will be using a bell or whistle, etc. Please introduce yourself to the judge and check they have the bell or whistle in their bin.
- Instruct the rider it is their turn to go.
- If a walkie-talkie is available, radio to the announcer the competitor # and name. For example, Ring #3, #101, Jones entering ring.
- Note on your list a competitor’s completion of test by placing a line through the # and name.
- If a competitor scratches or is a no-show, note it appropriately on the sheet.
- Instruct the next rider, after the final salute of the rider in the ring, that they are okay to go. [Return to Step #1.]
Notes Specific to LYDF
It is helpful if you read the YDF prize list and rules, concerning the competitors’ responsibilities etc. to familiarize yourself with the specifics of the show [for example, jackets are not mandatory].
During the day the ring steward will be asked several questions from riders, spectators and many others;
- What time is my ride?
- How much more time do I have?
- Who is the rider before me?
- Where can I stand to call, read test? [Test Readers are allowed for Prix Caprilli and Dressage Trail classes only! No readers are allowed for regular Dressage classes at LYDF]
The Ring Steward’s job is to get the horses in the ring, in order, on time for the judge. You are not there to answer everyone’s questions [although we do not want anyone to be rude, we cannot have you getting overwhelmed and not being able to do your designated and very important job]. Kindly suggest they check their program or check the day sheets by the secretary’s office.
Day sheets are posted outside the secretary’s office, generally on a score board if anyone is looking for information.
Generally a ring steward is assigned to each ring. However, you may be asked to ring steward multiple rings, if they are in close proximity. Rings 1, 2, 3 are generally in the “Grand Prix” arena [the ring under and past the bridge]. Rings 4 and 5 are located across the main path behind the announcer’s stand. If only one ring is set up, the final warm-up area is to the left of the competition ring, if two rings are set up, the warm-up is conducted in the main warm-up arena near the tree [only tree around].
The number of horses in the final on-deck warm-up area for rings 1, 2, 3 should be limited to 2-3 for safety. Initial warm-up should be elsewhere on the show grounds. The final warm-up areas are for the on-deck riders.
At times it will be hard to encourage and limit the horses and riders from entering the warm-up, on-deck area to about 2 horses ahead of them – stress safety. This number of riders equals about 10-15 minutes before their ride time. This should ensure that you have only 6 horses in the on deck warm-up at one time. Suggest early arrivals warm-up in the main warm-up ring, across from the secretary’s office, near the big tree.
Spectators should stay against the stone walls or up on the hill surrounding the Grand Prix ring.
If the area under the bridge becomes congested, politely ask spectators to relocate from that area, in order to allow horses access to the rings. Also politely suggest that golf carts not be parked by the entrance.
Be careful of the bees living in the stone walls. Bee spray is available at the volunteer booth.
If you have questions, please ask or send a note with the test runners!