Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The South East BKKS Koi Show Swanley 2006

Wow what a great weekend! Bank holidays are a great institution in Great Britain for time off work and are even better if there's a great koi show to attend. Last Sunday & Monday was the 20th South East Section BKKS Open Koi Show and although only a section show it draws a large crowd and is well supported. Trying to guess the weather I decided to go on the Sunday as the sun was out and I could watch the judges at work.

After a short drive from the M25 I was amazed to arrive at a car packed field with hordes of visitors arriving including coach parties. Quite a few were from Holland as the club arranges with the Dutch Koi Club members an exchange. Actually this show could be described as truely international because as well as the BKKS judges there were koi association judges from around the world as part of an International Judges Panel (IJP). These included Bill Ennis (UK), Toen Feyen (Netherlands), Hayamasa Ikeda (Japan), Oosie Strydom (South Africa), Tony Price (UK), and Art and Nicole Lembke (USA).

I have never seen so many koi judges in attendance at a UK show and it was interesting to see if they were all in agreement. Without cheating I challenged myself to predict the winners but I have to admit I still have a lot to learn. As the results weren't displayed until the Monday I had to wait until today to find out who won from the South East Sections website. Needless to say most of my predictions were wrong but I came close with the winner. I fancied Alan Archers' Kohaku to win Grand Champion not his size 6 Sanke, and because of this I appologise for the only photo I took of this koi here. The photo above is courtesy of the South East Sections results page which displays all the other group winners.

There were a very good selection of all varieties of koi on show, and it was nice to see a healthy competion between all groups not just with Kohaku. The Gosanke were as usual popular but I was also happily surprised to see good numbers of rarer types such as Shiro Utsuri. Overall most of the koi were smaller than The National but the quality was there and with entries such as a truely huge Chagoi there were many crowd pleasers. There were the usual bargains available from the dealers and with two having premises only 10 minutes away from the show grounds, there were lots of opportunies to buy something special.

I'd like to congratulate 'the friendly club' The South East Section on a great show and thank them for an enjoyable day. See everyone there again next year. For more of my photos of the show visit my Flickr albumn available on the right or visit www.Koivista.com.


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