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The Great British Koi Show 2023

The Great British Koi Show 2023

August Bank Holiday weekend meant it was now the turn of the Great British Koi Show. This was only the show's second year, but don't be fooled. The Yorkshire Section club that hosts the show have an infinite level of experience among the organisers of the show, and if last years show was anything to go by then this one was on course to be bigger and better than 2022.

The show itself is held at Newark Showground, situated 20 miles north east of Nottingham. The location sits perfectly with great access to the North and South of the country. Exhibitors, Dealers and hobbyists from all around the country were in attendance. The number of trade stands expanded by 50% so another hall at the show ground was booked out! There was a buzz around the show all weekend, and it felt fantastic to be part of the show with our first very own Shosha Koi dealer stand.

Spending time with hobbyists over the weekend filled us with motivation and positivity for the future, the response from old faces and new paved the way for the Shosha Koi experience. A sit-back and chill out area was the theme of our stand. Sitting back on the sofas, surrounded by our exhibition graphics I believe set the tone of how we want to go on. Immersed in the Koi world, bringing a little bit of Japan to the U.K. in a relaxing and friendly atmosphere.

Over the weekend we were kindly invited to judge the Special Variety award, this year the show chose Shiro Utsuri as their chosen variety. Judging is never easy, we certainly don't envy those that make the decisions at shows around the country. For us, our decision was a tough call. At the time of our judging one Koi came out on top. This Koi coincidentally also won the Dealers Award at the 2022 show, along with a Shinkokai Honourable mention at the BKKS National only a couple months prior. Congratulations to Martyn Underwood with his Shiro Utsuri bred by Marusho. A hatrick of Dealer given awards, you're certainly doing something right Martyn!

As rumours started to spiral around the show ground first thing Sunday morning. Excitement was building for exhibitors. The results boards went up and the major awards were announced. Walking over to where a crowd had congregated, the Grand Champion swam gracefully with her metaphorical badge of honour. We were over joyed for Carl Morrison who took the Grand Champion award with a Size 6 Sakai Fish Farm Sanke. Having played a part in the sourcing and rearing of this Koi, it was almost written in the stars that this particular Koi took the top award. As we mentioned in our social media post during the show, a huge well done must also go to Steve Watson for playing his part in the rearing of this koi. Seeing both Carl and Steve celebrate together was a momentous occasion. Well done chaps!

The good news had only just began. Continuing the walk around the major award winners, Adult Champion was the next Koi to stop us in our tracks. Craig McNish and his multi-major award winning Sanke from Sakai Fish Farm. I'll always remember the day Craig purchased this Koi, I dubbed him "The Fastest Koi Buyer in the North". Good thing too! Young Champion in 2021, and now Adult Champion in 2023. I sincerely hope we continue to be a part of Craig's journey in the hobby, his collection and eye for Koi has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years. Good on you Craig! I must say, for anyone wanting to see Koi in absolute peak condition, you must see Craig's Koi in a show vat, the skin, colour and lustre is always sublime.

Before, during and after, the Great British Koi Show fuelled an organic response from everyone in the hobby. Everywhere you looked on social media, there was a post about the show. Even hobbyists and dealers that couldn't visit were promoting it. The selfless actions from people in the hobby truly showed how inclusive our hobby is and the Koi community rallied together for the benefit of everyone involved.

A big well done and thank you to exhibitors, dealers, visitors, judges and of course the show team for making the weekend happen.

Special mention to James Colley the Show chairman, and also Darren Gray of Absolute Koi for sponsoring the awards.

See you next year! For now, a selection of photos from the weekend. Next up.... the Mid Staffs Koi Show.

Koi and award images kindly provided by World of Nishikigoi - be sure to subscribe to their magazine!