Updated 01/26/09

Broad Reach Trophy Goes To Merlin

CH MHR Caer Bren’s Crystal Wizard CD RN SH

The Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac is delighted to announce, if belatedly, that the Broad Reach Versatility Award, offered by Buddy Voshell in memory of Martha Lee Voshell was presented for the first time to CH MHR Caer Bren’s Crystal Wizard CD RN SH otherwise well known as Merlin. Merlin is owned by Roger and Elizabeth Atkins (WatersEdge). The trophy was presented at the Club's Annual Meeting held Tuesday, April 10, 2008.

Merlin's illustrious career began in 1997 when two club members, Jackie Mischou (Care Bren) and Clare Senfield (Allegheny) whelped a remarkable litter. Jackie kept a yellow boy we have come to know as Pickwick and Clare kept a yellow girl we know as Gem.

Accepting the trophy last April, Elizabeth noted that "Both of their dogs had lovely calm temperaments and I swore that my dog, Merlin, somehow received a gene from a Border Collie. If I didn’t have him training and competing in at least two different things at a time he would have rearranged my living room furniture!" A rightfully proud Elizabeth went on to say "Merlin always gives 200% when he does anything. He is very, very smart. In the field he learned that once he hit the water he could do what ever he wanted, so I spent a summer at one of Trish Jagoda’s ponds wearing full chest waders so that I could go after him."

As you might imagine, Elizabeth claims to have learned as much from Merlin as she taught him. "Because he was always one step ahead of me, I learned to be a better trainer, I learned to ask for help, and I learned patience."

In 2001 Merlin earned the “LRCP Outstanding All Around Labrador Retriever of the Year” Trophy. When Elizabeth looked at the trophy she saw that Martha Lee Voshell’s name was on the trophy four times. Twice she had bred the dog who earned the trophy. Three times she handled the dog who earned the trophy. Elizabeth noted as many of us already know: "Martha Lee opened the door for many of us. She showed us that a dog could win the breed one day and go out and work in the field the next."

In concluding, Elizabeth confessed "I was humbled to have my name on the Outstanding All Around Labrador Retriever of the Year trophy with hers and I am most honored to have a dog earn this trophy that is a tribute to her life with her dogs. I am very grateful to have friends who helped me believe that this was possible."

Merlin's Career Achievements