The Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac
April 8-10, 2009

Here are the pictures from Potomac 2009 taken with my camera. The Potomac runs three rings for three days, and is truly a breathtaking event for Labrador lovers. I think this song, I Run to you, by Lady Antebellum, should be the new ode to Potomac. Most of us miss it terribly when it is over, it is so wonderful to see all the beautiful, sometimes famous dogs and breeders in our breed all in one place. I had the honor and pleasure of judging all the sweepstakes dog (male) classes, including the Veteran classes.

Where do I begin describing the most amazing experience a breeder can have?  I'm glad to hear many of you have the same feelings I do, that Potomac is so awesome it is almost surreal, and we yearn for it a bit when its over.  Now multiply that feeling by a hundred, and that was what it was like to judge.  I know I am incredibly fortunate that my life as a breeder has the Potomac show as its foundation rather than a highlight.  I attended my first in 1987, where CH Tabatha's Windfall Abbey was BOB and Ch Daveog Silky Beau BOS.  At that time I worked at a school and led a group of kids on a Project Week trip to Washington DC.  My parents lived there, so I went to the show every year for many years before the kids came for Project Week.  It became something I just did every year until my own kids finally got old enough to make getting away difficult, but still I have gone 18 times in the last 22 years.  

It was there I met Martha Lee and Buddy Voshell, who had CH Tabatha's Drifter at Dickendall, JH when I bred to him.  Those early years had trained my eye to love a specific type, and that breeding was good--it produced Archie.  He was the first dog I showed at Potomac, in the 6-9 mo class, before they split them by color.  There were 47, and he got fourth, but even cooler, his mother was HIT there that day.  So it went from there, Archie was RWD and Best BBE at LRCP 1997, his granddaughter Rah Rah was WB and BOW at LRCP 2003, Caper was Best BBE in 2004.  I thought the biggest thrill I could ever have was winning five classes and going best BBE (over WD) last year, but when they pulled me aside and asked what I would be doing this time next year, I knew the biggest thrill was yet to come. 

I had soooooooo much fun!  I left thinking--my life is complete now.  In between there were the hilarious hours on end spent with the English judges, who had us rolling and crying and just grinning the whole time.  And yet I learned so much from them, they were wonderful.  It was all so intensely cerebral I physically miss it.

In the ring I was told I smiled a lot, and that I gave every exhibitor my undivided attention.  How could I not?  I was judging at Potomac, I loved every second of it.  I was tickled that the dogs were all true Labradors, sweet and mushy and never a worried moment, that made me happy.  Having the most famous breeders and handlers from around the world in the ring didn't phase me a bit, because I was sure of one thing:  If they brought me a dog with a fault they knew it.  I'm not sure why all judges and handlers don't recognize that, putting up an inferior dog because of who is showing it is embarrassing to everyone, including the handler.  So I felt no stress on that account.

There were good dogs in every class. I was tickled to give Best Veteran to a 12 year old dog, CH Winthara's Brodies Souvenir, who I thought was fabulous in every way and made me smile so hard I think my lips got stuck on my teeth.  Good thing I shed a few tears to loosen them.   :*) I was incredibly proud of the boys I sent into the Best in Sweeps lineup, they were gorgeous dogs with a lot of consistency.  It was an honor and a thrill. :)

My class critiques are here:

9-12 month black dogs

9-12 month yellow dogs

9-12 month chocolate dogs
6-9 month black dogs

6-9 month yellow dogs

6-9 month chocolate dogs

12-15 month black dogs

12-15 month yellow dogs

12-15 month chocolate dogs

15-18 month black dogs

15-18 month yellow dogs

15-18 month chocolate dogs


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