Purdin Koi Farm harvest event, which I was attending for the 2nd year as guest, was originally scheduled to be the end of my harvest season.  As it turned out it ended up being sandwiched in the middle of my extended Japan harvest trip.

Dawn breaks over Purdin Koi Farm - 7.08am 15th November 2016

Dawn breaks over Purdin Koi Farm – 7.08am 15th November 2016

Since my first visit in November 2015, I really do love visiting Purdin Koi Farm on so many levels.  Since I was a young child I dreamed of having fishing on tap at the end of the garden (albeit this November the lake was empty). I love reading historic Koi related material, and Purdin Koi Farm’s library is home to what must be the largest collections anywhere.  I get to meet many Koi people, from many different backgrounds, however I think that it’s the time I spend with people that have become involved with breeding Koi, that is some of the most enjoyable and interesting for me, whether that is breeders in Japan, Jos Aben in Poland (http://nishikigoi.life/2016/12/08/2016-harvest-highlights-yoshikigoi/), Adam Byer in the UK (http://nishikigoi.life/2016/12/07/back-garden-breeding-interview-adam-byer/), Mat McCann at BeniHanna Nishikigoi in the US or of course Scott Purdin at Purdin Koi Farm (http://nishikigoi.life/2015/11/30/visit-to-purdin-koi-farm-meeting-scott/) – not forgetting Bill and Maureen McGurk of course!  Add into that some of the Koi that I’ve come to know at Purdin Koi Farm and it’s just a great place for me to visit.

There are a number of posts that you can find here on Nishikigoi.Life regarding Koi at Purdin Koi Farm from my visits in November 2015 and March 2016.    On my first visit I had great access to some of the farms tosai from that year, and i always find it fascinating to follow Koi from as early an age as possible.  Click this link to find post about Purdin – http://nishikigoi.life/?s=purdin.

My number 1 Koi at Purdin Koi Farm in November 2015 was a nisai Kohaku, 54cm in size.  The qualities of this Koi were really quite beautiful.

Purdin Koi Farm, Nisai Kohaku, 54cm, November 2015

Purdin Koi Farm, Nisai Kohaku, 54cm, November 2015

During 2016 the Kohaku above, like several of the other Koi below have been, and will be, was kept in Purdin Koi Farms 550ton (550,000 litre/120,000 imperial gallon) ‘River’ system.   This is the ‘river of dreams’ for Scott, Bill, Maureen and a few of their lucky customers, for this is where the best of the best get grown, although they need more than just quality to get in there, they also need to have a special character.  Unless a Koi has a powerful disposition it simply won’t thrive in the river, the Koi need strength in their frame, a powerful tail tube and tail, in order to cope with the linear flow of water in the pond.  Anyone who has placed a pan net in the pond whilst the pumps are running will testify that this is not a still body of water!

This Kohaku had the right character!


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'The River' at Purdin Koi Farm

‘The River’ at Purdin Koi Farm

As soon as I reached Purdin this autumn I sought her out and immediately spotted her swimming in the river.  She looked in great condition as best as I could see in the deep water.  She was swimming next to another Kohaku of the same age which had been measure recently at 64.5cm, she was clearly much larger, so much so I thought that she may even pass through 70cm which would have been both excellent growth for the year, but also an impressive size for a Koi of just 2 1/2 years old.

When she was eventually bowled up she didn’t disappoint in terms of quality, she looked incredibly beautiful still in every department.  With regards to size, she fell just short of 1cm short of the 70cm mark, being 69cm.  By now, almost 1 month later, she has probably passed through that 70cm.  I look forward to charting her journey further over the coming few years.

Purdin Koi Farm, Sansai Kohaku, 69cm, November 2016

Purdin Koi Farm, Sansai Kohaku, 69cm, November 2016

The Kohaku below is another that had spent the year in the river.  In November 2015 this was Bill McGurk’s number 1 Kohaku and if memory serves me right it was a little smaller than the one above, around 53cm.

Bill's Number 1 Nisai Kohaku, November 2015

Bill’s Number 1 Nisai Kohaku, November 2015

Like her sister she had done incredibly well in the river, growing to 65cm.

Purdin Sansai Kohaku, 65cm

Purdin Sansai Kohaku, 65cm

When we netted the Kohaku below up from the river I had no recollection of it whatsoever, I was convinced that Bill must have been keeping some Koi secret on my previous visits to Purdin.

Purdin Koi Farm Sansai Kohaku, 62cm

Purdin Koi Farm Sansai Kohaku, 62cm

Bill claimed his innocence insisting that I had photographed the Koi in November 2015.  Looking back at my files Bill was of course correct, the picture below of her as nisai.  It is evident that I photographed her immediately after the first Kohaku posted above, therefore I can only assume that I was so besotted with the first one that this left little of no impression on me whatsoever, I don’t remember it, and I can’t find that I ever shared any pictures of it.  I don’t know her size last year, but she appears of lesser frame than the others.  That coupled with her current size of 62cm suggests she was smaller than her siblings.


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Purdin Koi Farm Nisai Kohaku, November 2015

Purdin Koi Farm Nisai Kohaku, November 2015

This Kohaku is sibling of the 3 Kohaku above, and like them has spent 2016 in the river.  This Kohaku is a massive 77cm in size at just 2 1/2 years old, and whilst the beni seems to be simply outstretching itself, the white skin is quite beautiful.  No surprise that this Koi will be groomed as a potential parent for future generations of Purdin Koi Farm Kohaku.

Purdin Sansai Kohaku, 77cm, November 2016

Purdin Sansai Kohaku, 77cm, November 2016

If Bill had his way then the only thing to show you from Purdin Koi Farm would be Kohaku.  Thankfully there are other influences on the varieties that Purdin breed other than Bill, however when Maureen suggested they could perhaps produce Ginrin Kohaku next year the idea was soon quashed!

Purdin is unmistakably a Gosanke farm, Goshiki and Ginrin Goshiki providing the exotica.  There are very few farms anywhere, including Japan, that restrict themselves to that degree, even the giants that are Dainichi, Momotaro and Sakai FF produce other varieties.

There are a couple of Sanke in the river which suggest something rather special isn’t too much a distant dream, in fact I think they could already be swimming at Purdin and we’ll see them later in the post.

Producing high quality examples of all and any variety of Nishikigoi requires many factor to come together.  Just 1 of many aspects needs to be wrong for the whole piece to fall short of the desired standard.  Sanke are universally acknowledged as the hardest of all varieties for those pieces to come right.

The Sanke below is a 5 year old bred at Purdin Koi Farm from a Yamamatsu bloodline parent, so Matsunosuke bloodline.  Already this Koi measures 90cm in length which is quite incredible growth.  The body is so typical of Matsunosuke bloodline, the beni is perhaps not keeping pace with the growth, however the skin and the sumi quality are quite beautiful.


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Purdin Sanke, Gosai, 90cm

Purdin Sanke, Gosai, 90cm

I shared the images below on Facebook last month of this Koi’s dorsal sumi and wrote:

‘Sumi-e, the Japanese word for ‘black ink painting’ and the origin of the word ‘sumi’ we use for the black of Nishikigoi.

The sumi on the dorsal ridge runs down the side of the body as though someone has poured ink thickly on the white ground. Did you ever see an artist use red canvas?’

Close up of sumi

Close up of sumi

Close up of sumi

Close up of sumi

There are some great genes in that Koi to pair up with the right male Koi.

This is another female Sanke which was bred at Purdin Koi Farm and has been grown in the river.

I wrote about this Sanke last year, calling her ‘the miracle mother’.  You can read the full story here – http://nishikigoi.life/2015/12/14/the-miracle-mother/ – however in short, this is the only survivor of the spawning in 2010 and she is lucky to be alive as she survived a bird attack which left her permanently damaged.


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Purdin Sanke, 'the miracle mother'

Purdin Sanke, ‘the miracle mother’

This area of white ground with its thick fukurin is quite beautiful and something that Scott, Bill and Maureen will hope she passes to her offspring.

Close up of the white skin and deep fukurin

Close up of the white skin and deep fukurin

Immediately after the above pictures were taken this Koi was transferred from the river to a mud pond where she will get into condition for her first spawning in 2017.

The Sanke below is the very first Koi that I photographed at Purdin Koi Farm in November 2015, I really liked her.  A few days later it was purchased by hobbyist Mac McGreevy.  Very sadly Mac passed away earlier this year and subsequently the Koi’s whereabouts are presently unclear, a real shame that the future development of this Koi will likely never be known, for me the best nisai Sanke of 2015.

Purdin Nisai Sanke, November 2015

Purdin Nisai Sanke, November 2015

The 2015 Sanke spawnings however did present Purdin with a number of really quite lovely Sanke, 2 of which remain very much Purdin Koi Farm tategoi and will soon be swimming in the river, and they are both Koi I think will absolutely thrive in it.

I featured this first Sanke in March of this year, the photo on the left was taken in November 2015, the one on the right in March 2016.

Purdin Koi Farm Tosai Sanke

Purdin Koi Farm Tosai Sanke

In my post here – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/03/24/purdin-koi-farm-tosai/  – I wrote:


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‘I really like this Sanke, I can’t recall why I didn’t include it in my earlier selection.  Has a great frame and body, pattern is nice (oh for the maruten to be a little more central), shoulder sumi is attractive, balance is nice all the way to the back of the Koi.  Pattern finishes nicely at the tail.  Maybe the number 1 Sanke in the Autumn?’

Purdin Koi Farm Nisai Sanke, November 2016

Purdin Koi Farm Nisai Sanke, November 2016

Close up of the skin on Purdin nisai Sanke

Close up of the skin on Purdin nisai Sanke

As you can see the Koi most certainly didn’t disappoint.  Everything about this Koi suggests great potential for the future, I absolutely can’t wait to see how this Koi develops over the coming years.  As I recall it was 54cm.

Here is another which I’ve previously shared since tosai. Again, the pic on the left is November 2015, the right hand pic March 2016.

Purdin Koi Farm Tosai Sanke

Purdin Koi Farm Tosai Sanke

My previous comments on this Koi were:

November 2015 – ‘This maruten Sanke has very nice sumi placement, working really nicely with the fairly small red markings, and most importantly falling on the white ground.  Suspiciously male looking?  Maybe, time will tell.’

March 2016 – ‘Whilst this Sanke may have been suspiciously male looking, and remain so, it wasn’t producing sperm when checked.  The body really is rather slim, time will tell how it develops.’ 


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Well this Koi developed quite beautifully, the body remains a little slim maybe, particularly when it is compared directly to the sister above which has a greater presence to it when they are together.  When the 2 Koi were measured I was amazed that this one is actually larger by 1 or 2cm.

However, I think in terms of overall beauty this is the winner.  The sumi placement is quite perfect from front to back, starting with the sumi on the left shoulder, balancing the off centre maruten marking on the head, and then  falling on the white ground right the way through to the tail.

Purdin Nisai Sanke, 56cm, November 2016

Purdin Nisai Sanke, 56cm, November 2016

Close up of the skin and sumi on Purdin Nisai Sanke

Close up of the skin and sumi on Purdin Nisai Sanke

So what about Showa?

Well if 2014 was the year of the Kohaku, and 2015 the year of the Sanke, well surely 2016 was the year of the Showa.

The Showa tosai were the stars of this year’s tosai harvest for me, here are 16 that I have previously posted here – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/11/11/purdin-koi-farm-tosai-showa-2016/.

Purdin Tosai Showa

Purdin Tosai Showa

There is a lot more to write about these tosai than I have space for here, so look out for a later post about these Koi in more detail.


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