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Advice from a Show Secretary

By Shannon Graham Urban

Show Secretary, I always keep several good black and blue ink pens that are comfortable to write with in my bag. I also carry a couple of small, high-intensity flashlights, with extra batteries, for reading tattoos. Hard candy, such as peppermints and Jolly Ranchers, are good to have on hand, too. I try to find out the judge’s favorite candy, and have that available for them to munch on during breaks between breeds.

At first glance, the ADGO and AGS Report Of Awards (RoA) can look quite intimidating, but if there is a seasoned Show Secretary to teach you, they can be learned over the course of a show. There are a few differences between the ADGA and AGS paperwork. The ADGA RoA is quite large, with a section for each breed; the AGS RoA is one sheet for each breed, with sections for Senior Doe, Junior Doe, and Buck. Nigerian Dwarf heights must be recorded for the Grand and Reserve Champions on the AGS form.

The Show Secretary transfers registration information from the goat’s original registration papers onto the RoA. It is very important for information to be correct on the form or a show win may not count with the registry. All the blanks must be filled in with either the pertinent information, a zero, or a dash through the line. Always be sure the owner verifies all information for their goat before signing the paperwork. At the end of the day, it is the exhibitor who is responsible for the correct information on the RoA.

Both registries like to have a copy of the show book with placings marked. The Show Committee generally supplies this book to the Show Secretary and Ring Steward. I usually mark placings from first to fifth, then record the Grand and Reserve Champions.

Something extra I do for the Ring Steward is to keep a list of all Grand and Reserve Champions with owner’s names, in breed order, so that getting everyone into the ring for Best in Show is a little easier than shuffling through all the show book pages, or using the RoA. This list is also helpful to the club member posting show results. This is not a requirement, just a little something I personally do.

A Show Secretary’s work is not finished until the RoA is completely filled out, all signatures done, and totals added up. At that time, the Show Chairman and Show Secretary review the document, and sign at the bottom. The RoA then goes to the judge for his review and signature. Once the judge has signed, the RoA copies are dispersed; the judge keeps the original, which will be mailed to AGS, and one copy. The remaining copy goes to the Show Chairman. The judge keeps one copy of the ADGA RoA, with the club mailing the original to ADGA, and keeping one copy.

Bathroom breaks can be few and far between for the Show Secretary. I generally let the Ring Steward and judge know that I need a few extra minutes between breeds.

Most Show Committees provide a box of sweet and savory snacks, and a cooler with bottled water and soft drinks for the judge, Ring Steward, and Show Secretary. This helps because it is hard to get away long enough for the trip to the concession stand for a pick-me-up. It’s always nice when paper towels and wet wipes are available on the table. I usually take a container of my favorite wipes to each show. All the clubs I have worked with have also provided a nice meal. But the absolute most important thing a Show Committee can do for a Show Secretary is to have a good Ring Steward.

While it can be intimidating, once you sit at the table and take the time to learn the RoA, it is a good skill to have whether to fill in when there is an emergency, cover when the Show Secretary needs a break, or just understand the RoA when your own animal earns a coveted ribbon.

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