‘The best £200 I’ve ever spent’, that is how owner Steve Watson describes this Showa which has just been awarded best in size 3 at the All England Koi Show beating off no less than 97 other size 3 Koi, 49 of which were Gosanke!

The story of this Koi however is much more interesting than that.

Several years ago I started to get a little demoralised about Koi shows and the achievement that people seem to get from owning a Koi they’ve perhaps never even seen in the flesh.  That however is the way things are and me getting demoralised isn’t going to change a thing.  However, when I see a Koi that has won a prize, a major prize, due to the care and attention of its owner then that is much more interesting, and this is one such Koi.

On the 2nd February 2011 I was with Gary Smith of Gatwick Koi for the day and we visited a small and relatively little known breeder, Miya.  There is another story about this day, and indeed Gary’s Japan trip in February 2011, you should read it here – http://niigata-nishikigoi.com/node/1081

Gary purchased a number of nisai Koi from Miya san, probably around 35cm in size, among them was the Showa pictured below.


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You may have to look closely to realise but yes, it’s the same Koi, and was purchase by Steve and Angie Watson soon after.

Steve and Angie are active on the UK show scene and this Koi’s show career started later in 2011, and since then it has been awarded two Baby Champion awards, a Young Adult Champion award and an Adult Champion award.

The picture below was taken in February 2013 at the East Midlands Winter Koi Show, as we can see the impressive sumi continues to develop until now.

 


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I think there are several things that people can take from this Koi.

1) You don’t need to spend a fortune to compete for major prizes at Koi shows, even a major show like the All England, the largest in the UK.

2) Koi keeping isn’t all about jumbo female Koi.  Sure the owner may be disappointed that their Koi is not growing very fast, and will never be big.  Now in its 6th year (rokusai) this Koi is still under 45cm (size 3).  Off memory the 2013 All Japan Wakagoi Show bred by Hoshikin Koi Farm was 5 years old and under 63cm.  It is very common for small finished Koi to be kept small to compete for prizes at shows in Japan.

3) Male Koi are a great buy for many a Koi keeper (although Steve and Angie also have some great female Koi), the vibrancy of the colour and skin of the Koi, and the fact it has maintained it’s quality is a key aspect of males and one of the reasons why they are perfect for many (most) Koi keepers.

I don’t think anyone would argue with Steve Watson’s, ‘the best £200 I’ve ever spent’.

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