With benching complete at 9.30am – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/10/29/benching-2016-niigata-nogyosai/ – there was a pause in proceedings until judging, which was scheduled for 11.30am.

Normally this is a great time to take a look at all of the Koi, debate the Grand Champion, and generally have a laugh with the many people that visit the show early saturday morning.

Today the pause was filled with rain, and offered the chance to get a warm drink and dry off a little.

11.30am came and went, as did midday.  The forecast suggested a break in the rain around this time, the sky showed no sign of conforming.  Whether the judges were delaying a little in the hope of the rain stopping I can’t be sure, if so it was a fruitless wait, but finally they emerged from the gymnasium building to get on with their duties, the first of which was to select a Grand Champion.

Judges assemble for start of judging

Judges assemble for start of judging

As the judges made their way around the vats there were inevitable stop points, although perhaps not as definite as some other years.

Judges checking Dainichi Kohaku

Judges checking Dainichi Kohaku

Judges checking Marudo Koi

Judges checking Marudo Koi

Taro Kataoka as the official Shinkokai representative judge checking the Dainichi Kohaku

Taro Kataoka as the official Shinkokai representative judge checking the Dainichi Kohaku

As the judges made their way around the vats the team of helpers waited patiently, their task would be to move the main GC candidates if deemed necessary following the first round of voting.  Despite being the new Niigata Shinkokai boss, Mitsunori Isa was today just a judging assistant,


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Judges assistants

Judges assistants

Toshio Shinoda, Hansuke Koi Farm

Toshio Shinoda, Hansuke Koi Farm

Judges reassemble

Judges reassemble

The judges reassembled after 10 minutes or so of looking around the vats to cast their votes.   In total their were 25 judges, 7 teams of 3, plus 4 dignitaries.  Each judge would nominate 1 Koi as their choice for GC, and any Koi would need 50% of the votes, i.e. 13, to be crowned GC at this, or any subsequent stage.

JA officials counting the first ballot

JA officials counting the first ballot

As the ballot slips were counted and organised into piles it was apparent that there was no outright winner at this stage, in fact far from it, as 8 different Koi had been nominated as Grand Champion, with votes ranging from 7 to 1 for each Koi.

The 3 Koi with the highest number, the Dainichi Maruten Kohaku with 7, another Dainichi Kohaku with 4, and the Marudo Kohaku which also had 4, were moved to adjacent pools for closer direct comparison by the judges.

As you can see from the pictures, the rain continued to fall.

Dainichi Maruten Kohaku

Dainichi Maruten Kohaku

Dainichi Kohaku

Dainichi Kohaku

Marudo Kohaku

Marudo Kohaku

Dainichi Maruten Kohaku

Dainichi Maruten Kohaku

Dainichi Kohaku

Dainichi Kohaku

Marudo Kohaku

Marudo Kohaku

Judges pass the maruten Kohaku

Judges pass the maruten Kohaku

Judges pass the Dainichi Kohaku

Judges pass the Dainichi Kohaku

Judges pass the Marudo Kohaku

Judges pass the Marudo Kohaku

The second round of voting still failed to deliver a Grand Champion as the Maruten Kohaku received 11 votes, the Marudo Kohaku 9 votes and the other Dainichi Kohaku 5 votes.

A final head to head battle between the Maruten Kohaku and the Marudo Kohaku saw the Dainichi Koi win by 15 votes to 10 to be crowned Grand Champion of the 2016 Niigata Nogyosai.


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Grand Champion 2016 Niigata Nogyosai. Dainichi Kohaku, 89cm, 7 years old, offspring of Roman.

Grand Champion 2016 Niigata Nogyosai.
Dainichi Kohaku, 89cm, 7 years old, offspring of Roman.

Grand Champion, 2016 Niigata Nogyosai

Grand Champion, 2016 Niigata Nogyosai

Grand Champion, 2016 Niigata Nogyosai

Grand Champion, 2016 Niigata Nogyosai

A ballot between the Marudo Kohaku, and the other Dainichi Kohaku saw the Marudo Kohaku awarded 2nd prize in the show with a massive 20 to 5 margin.

Runner up, 2016 Niigata Nogyosai

Runner up, 2016 Niigata Nogyosai

All of the major winners at the 2016 Niigata Nogyosai will follow on www.Nishikigoi.Life.


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