The 3rd South of England Koi Show was staged by the South Downs Koi Club on 4th and 5th June in the village of Clapham, near Worthing, West Sussex.

 

Aerial view of the show

Aerial view of the show

Aerial view of the show with the village of Clapham behind it, Brighton lies in the distance

Aerial view of the show with the village of Clapham behind it, Brighton lies in the distance

Indeed, we’ve already featured the major winners of the show a couple of days ago – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/06/05/major-winners-3rd-south-england-koi-show-4th-5th-june-2016/ – and a video of the Grand Champion – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/06/06/video-3rd-south-england-koi-show-grand-champion/.

In this report I’ll share a little more information about the show, and some personal thoughts.

As I stated in my post on Friday – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/06/03/1st-english-show-season-3rd-south-england-koi-craft-show/ – ‘The South of England Koi and Craft Show isn’t the biggest in the world, nor does it claim to be or pretend to be, but it’s great little show put on by a group of enthusiastic and well established Koi fanatics.’

That said, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have ambitions to grow bigger, which was something that I discussed with Steve (Show Chairman) and Angie Watson at length at last year’s show.


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The heady days of the late 80’s and 90’s when 1000’s of Koi hobbyists would flock to a field somewhere in the country to visit a Koi show on a Saturday or Sunday seem to have long gone.  How to attract Koi keepers to attend Koi shows in 2016 continues to be an ongoing debate, hotly, and frequently, discussed on Facebook, forums, and indeed face to face among those that do visit.

If it was Koi that visitors wanted to see then the show attracted exhibitors from across the south of England, including Andy Baker, Kevin Paul, David Pope, Adam Byer with his home bred Koi and David Edge with his some of his all male collection.  The fact these guys, and the many other exhibitors, are prepared to drag their Koi around the country and put them on display for the please of others should, in my mind, be enough to motivate other Koi keepers to go and take a look.

A trio of Adam Byer's home bred tosai, including Baby Champion

A trio of Adam Byer’s home bred tosai, including Baby Champion

Adam Byer's 2015 Baby Champion returned as a size 3

Adam Byer’s 2015 Baby Champion returned as a size 3

Attracting dealers is a tough one, they need customers to justify their time, effort and not inconsiderable expense in attending a show for the weekend.  While there weren’t a huge number of dealers in attendance, the visitor could pick up just about anything they wanted.  Long established Essex based Ace of Koi were a new addition to this year’s event, Chris choosing to come along on the weekend of his 65th birthday rather than partying elsewhere!

Ace of Koi stand

Ace of Koi stand

Bas and Lydnsay Erkens of Himitsu Garden and Pond come all the way from Holland to support the show as lead sponsor.

Himitsu Pond and Garden

Himitsu Pond and Garden

Locally Worthing based Aquatic Village were also in attendance.

Aquatic Village stand

Aquatic Village stand

There really were some excellent quality Koi on display and it was Andy Baker’s 80cm, 5 year old Matsue Kohaku that took Grand Champion.


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Grand Champion, Kohaku, Owned by Andy Baker, Bred by Matsue Koi Farm

Grand Champion
Kohaku
Owned by Andy Baker
Bred by Matsue Koi Farm

You can see a video of the Koi here – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/06/06/video-3rd-south-england-koi-show-grand-champion/

See all of the major winners here – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/06/05/major-winners-3rd-south-england-koi-show-4th-5th-june-2016/

Show trophies sponsored by Himitsu Pond and Garden

Show trophies sponsored by Himitsu Pond and Garden

Doitsu trophies were sponsored by Yoshikigoi

Doitsu trophies were sponsored by Yoshikigoi

The harsh reality is that there were far too few Koi hobbyists that took the time to visit the show, for those that did I think it is fair to say it was an enjoyable day out, at least on Sunday when the sun shone anyway!

Whilst photographing Koi in the centre ring it’s fair to say the exhibits caused plenty of interest and discussion between both exhibitors and visitors.  Kevin Paul’s 91cm Jumbo Champion, and the Koi swimming with it, understandably caused quite a stir.  Despite what people may think, 90cm+ are not common anywhere in the world, and the fact someone is prepared to bring one to what is a relatively small Koi show should be applauded, along with all of the exhibitors.  Hopefully one or two people that saw the Koi on display will be encouraged to either start the hobby, or up their existing hobby to another level, after all, education and promotion is what shows are all about.

As soon as the South Downs Koi Club announce their 2017 show I’ll post details, hopefully people will be suitably encouraged to pencil in a visit to the beautiful south coast of England for next June.

You can find out more about the South Downs Koi Club on their website – http://www.southdownskoiclub.co.uk/ – or Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/southdownskoiclub


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