PGCH Whirlwind Farms Merlin
October 26, 1986 – February 1, 1999

When the MEMO Editor, Carol Raczykowski, asked me to write an article on Merlin for the beginning of a new series of articles on bucks in MEMO who have had a tremendous impact on the Pygmy Breed or are very well known or famous or are tremendous producers, my first reaction was hesitation.   I’ve done that – twice.  The first article appeared in The Pygmy Goat World, November 1994, when Merlin was 8 years old.  The second appeared in MEMO when Merlin was 11.  They both appear on my web page for all to read.  Merlin did lead a long, happy and very productive life, but there wasn’t much I could add to what had already been written.   By the time he was 11 he wasn’t siring any more animals, just living the life of Riley in his garden area with PGCH Whirlwind Farms Montana.  But he had sired approximately 160 animals and by then 22 of them were Permanent Grand Champions.  To date 27 of Merlin’s offspring have become Permanent Grand Champions, and he’s in the backgrounds of many, many more.    The 1998 National Champion Buck, Whirlwind Farms No Boundaries, is his son, and even the 1999 National Champion Buck, PGCH Daworth’s Driscoll, and the 1999 National Champion Doe, PGCH Furry Down Unique, are his grandchildren, as are countless other animals throughout the United States and Canada.   Merlin himself was the 1991 National Champion Buck, which is the same year his daughter, PGCH Whirlwind Farms Pirouette, was the National Champion Doe.  Another son, Forget-Me-Not Black Magic was also the National Champion Buck one year.  Still, there was not enough not already known about him for me to write another article.

Merlin’s most fitting tribute is the legacy he left behind in the impact he has had on so many Pygmy herds throughout the United States and Canada.   I feel more important than for me to write more thoughts on Merlin and his life and legacy that I’ll share with you some of the many, many notes I received from others on his passing.  I had always felt he wasn’t just mine from the many comments I received from people through the years telling me how he had impacted their breeding programs.  I quickly realized I was right in the thought that he wasn’t only my animal when the tributes started coming in.  And I still receive notes and comments from people as they realize he’s gone and they just want to say how important he was to them.

Here are some of the very treasured notes and thoughts Merlin received:

From Arizona:

“I just had to write and tell you how sorry I am to hear of the passing of Merlin.  We have a Merlin great grandson.  He looks a lot like the pictures I have seen of Merlin. . . I’m sure he will be missed by everyone.  From what I saw of him he was an outstanding animal, even to someone like me  (I’m still green to the pygmy world).”  Tina Hatley

From California:

 “I am deeply sorry to hear about Merlin. . . However, there has never been, and there likely never will be, another buck that has had such an influence on the pygmy breed.  His wonderful strong traits will live on for many, many years.  I consider it a great privilege that he spent part of his life under my care, putting his stamp on my herd.  Thank you for that.  I think that NPGA should ‘retire’ the name Merlin, the way they retire the numbers of great athletes!”  Barbara Williams, Forget-Me-Not Pygmy Goats

“And what a heritage he left!!”  Nancy Watson, Edgemont Pygmy Goats

 “Just a note of sympathy in the loss of your Beautiful Merlin.  Know Monday, 2/1/99, was a bad day for you.  Of course word spreads quickly.  He left a legacy that will probably never be matched.  What an awesome animal he was.  We are so grateful to have had his son, Borago.  We know  it was from that pedigree that our best goats came.  He had the best of love and care and he lived a long and fruitful life.  He will never be forgotten by any person that knows what he did.”  Roy & Roberta Lewis, R & R Acres

“Sorry to hear about the loss of Merlin.  He will always live in our hearts and many years in our bloodlines”  The Josephson Family, T.J.’s Pygmys

“I wanted to write and say I was sorry about Merlin.  What a great legacy he has left.”  Roxanna Rollins, Buffalo Gil’s Goats

“Our hearts were saddened when I opened your website today and Merlin had passed.  Our deepest sympathy to all.  I have emailed you before and told you about my great looking buck, Azure Springs Majestic Image.  He has some Merlin in him and looks a lot like him.  I have two does ready to kid from him any day.  Just thought you would like to know that the legend will still live on in Rio Linda.”  Cathy and Troy Hood

“Just read your notice about Merlin’s passing and know just how you feel when you lose such an important part of your herd. . . He has done so much in so many herds across our land.  You deserve to be very proud of him.”  Gayle Skoff, Misty Blue Pygmies

“So sorry to hear of the news.  But, thankfully, he was one revered and prolific goat!  I doubt any other buck shall have so profound an effect on the breed.  Thank you for shepherding him so well.”  Dee Angwin

“We were so sorry to receive your message about Merlin’s passing.  Although we never had the pleasure of seeing him, his reputation spoke for him.  We believe he had to have been the number one buck in the United States!  Anyone who had the great fortune of owning any of his offspring seemed to have always had top quality and winning stock in the show ring. . . Although there will never be another Merlin, you can be sure that his memory lives on in all the babies he has fathered.  He left quite a legacy for quality and beauty in the pygmy goats he fathered – he was the best.”  Dee Brown/Judy White,  Fantasy Farm

“We are so sorry to hear about Merlin, but I know that nowhere in the world could he have had a better life, than with you both.  I went out and told my boy about his grandfather and now he would really have to work hard to hold up the reputation that Merlin had.”  Vicki Schildknecht, Graceland Goats

“I’m so sorry to hear about Merlin.  He’s running and jumping happily with all his women now.  For those of us that have had our herds affected by his brilliance, we thank you and him for his time here.”  Robin Nikula, Rose Acre Ranch

“Not often do tears come to my eyes for someone else’s goat, but such happened when I read your message.  Merlin was a living legend in and of himself.  He established a dynasty of champions – the blood lines of which go through many herds. I am truly sorry to hear of your news.”  Carol Hamill, Azure Springs

“Merlin was so important to our breed and all of us.  He will never be forgotten.  There will never be another.”  Kevin Kress, K’s Heavenly Hill

“You and many others will always have the memory of Merlin through our BEST kids from him.  I’m here if you need to talk, cry, or laugh about all the good times and things Merlin brought into our lives.”  Judy DeMerritt,  Pigeon Pass Farm

And from someone who has never owned a goat, but is a dear friend:
“I frequently think about that first time I saw him in the pen with his girls.  He came walking down the hill and even to my completely untrained eye, it was clear that he was not like the other bucks I had seen.”  David Hawley

“He was such a legacy.  I think probably the most well known name in the pygmy goat world.  People that don’t really know much about pygmy goats would know the Merlin Line.”  Candy Whitcomb, Leenie’s Teenie Pygmy Goats

“Sorry to hear about Merlin.  He certainly has influenced many breeding programs, especially ours.” Michelle Fonda, Flying Turtles Pygmy Goats

From Idaho:

“I am so sorry to hear about Merlin.  He was truly a legend in the world of pygmy goats.  His passing will be felt throughout the entire pygmy goat community.  He has left his mark on the breed for many generations to come. . . He will be deeply missed by all.”  Karen Colwell, Legacy Farms

And from Ohio:

“I was saddened to hear about Merlin, truly a legend.  I own his grandson.  He has come down the line through two other breeders.  Now I am proud to say I own him, Promised Land Kona!  He is a gorgeous buck.”  Vicki Blizzard, Stormy Blizzard Pygmys

And from the website guestbook:

I really liked the photos of Merlin.  I can tell that you really loved him and that he was also a georgous buck. I have one of his great grand kids from the Normans and he is so cute and funny.  I am also very sorry for your loss.”  Buttin’ Bellies Ranch

“So sorry to here about Merlin’s passing,   He made such a contribution to improving the pymgy goat.  May he rest in peace.”  Linda Zook

“Have a number of Merlins grandkids and am producing some really nice great grand kids by linebreeding them.”  Jacqie Marvich, Night Star Pygmy Goats

From Massachussetts:

“There are really no words to say just that I am sorry for your loss.  He is a LEGEND for many and he has touched so many  herds with his stamp of EXCELLENCE!!!  He will always be remembered for the awesome animal he was and always will be.  He has touched many with his strength and he will continue with all his beautiful kids.  They now will carry his name and reputation, but Merlin will always be in our hearts.”  Michael O’Kelly, Country Farm Pygmy Goats

And Nevada:

“Our sincere condolences on your loss.  It certainly was a long and rewarding run.”  Ray and Larna Hoyt, Silex Farms West

And from Tennessee:

“Our hearts to out to you in the loss of Merlin!  He was definitely a legend and was greatly loved by many people in the ‘pygmy world’ – even those of us who never had a chance to meet you or Merlin.  Through his offspring that we have ‘met’ in the shows we have attended, we came to feel that we did in fact, know him personally and we share in your sorrow.”  Linda and Jerry Jensen, Diamond Rose Farm

From Texas:

“I just looked on your website and saw that Merlin was gone. . . You had one awesome little guy there.  His legend will live on.”  Stacy Hamilton, Red Rock Hills NPGA Pygmies

And from Michigan:

“I am just a ‘small’ person in the pygmy goat world, with about one year into it. . .  I also wanted to say I was saddened to see the passing of Merlin.  But he will be around forever in all the offspring. . . I really admired Whirlwind Farms Merlin.”  Cleo Kain, Walnut Willows Pygmy Goats


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