Every year, the Crouch Valley Koi Section aims to include two events in its calendar – A Koi Show and a photographic competition. The latter is a fun event that has members submitting photos of their koi for judging with the results being presented on one of those chilly winter’s evenings when we all need a koi fix.

With our show again falling victim to Covid, we decided to try something new for 2021 and replace our photographic competition with a “garden show”. This is something we had considered trialling the previous year but again, the pandemic stopped us.

The format was as follows. Instead of submitting photographs, a 3-man team consisting of bencher, judge and photographer would visit members ponds to bowl and judge the fish in the flesh. The Crouch is lucky enough to have to have a senior BKKS judge, Keith Bertie, amongst its ranks and he assessed each fish making notes he could refer back to. At the same time each fish was measured, photographed and videoed providing both reference data for Keith and the materials that would form the backbone of the presentation evening.

Initially, the plan was for the competition to follow the structure used for our photographic:

  • Up to 6 fish are entered per member
  • To create healthy competition, fish are judged in 4 size categories:
    • Size 1 & 2 is combined
    • Size 3 & 4 is combined
    • Size 5 remains as size 5
    • Sizes 6, 7 and 8 are combined
  • We have a best in each size for 1) Go Sanke and 2) Non-Go Sanke
  • We then have major prizes for:
    • Grand Champion
    • Best Non-Go Sanke
    • Mature Champion
    • Adult Champion
    • Young Champion
    • Baby Champion

However, as things developed a couple of additions were made. The team wanted to recognise the sad loss to the hobby of their former member, Mark Gardner. It is well known that Mark had a soft spot for Showa but in recent times, his own breeding project opened up a fascination for the more unusual; we therefore decided to allow members to enter a 7th fish into a “best unique” category.

Next, we decided that if enough fish were entered, we would also award a best in class for each of the 13 BKKS varieties.

Crouch came out in force for their koi fix and although two or three were forced to drop out, 21 members and a total of 135 were entered and with the membership stretching far and wide to all corners of Essex (plus a trip to Kent), the show team were kept very busy. Finally, despite some delays along the way (Covid reared its head again), the members gathered at their December meeting to hear the results. That evening saw a brief critique of each fish using the photograph and 20 second video taken at the time of judging.

Having revealed the 1st, 2nd and 3rd across sizes and classes, the majors were then announced.

Crouch was very fortunate to have the support of Burtons Aquatics who provided a wealth of prizes for our winners and because of their generosity and some very nice koi mugs purchased by the club, no one who took part in the competition went home empty handed. The club is very grateful to Burtons.

In addition to thanking Burtons, Crouch Valley would like to thank all its members who entered and our three members, Keith, Tony and Steve whose hard work made this such a successful event.

To view the koi that won major prizes click here http://www.crouchvalleykoi.co.uk/CVKS/?page_id=948

To view the best in size winners click here http://www.crouchvalleykoi.co.uk/CVKS/?page_id=952

To view the best in class winners click here http://www.crouchvalleykoi.co.uk/CVKS/?page_id=954

To view pictures from the presentation evening, click here http://www.crouchvalleykoi.co.uk/CVKS/?page_id=955