A Kohaku bred at Byer Koi Farm wins the top award at Crouch Valley Photo Show 2020

We’ve just received news that one of our customers has clinched a major award with a special Kohaku bred here at Byer Koi Farm. It is tantalizingly close to the business objective we set ourselves a few years ago, which was to breed a koi that went on to win a Grand Champion award, and in fact, no other koi beat this Kohaku in the whole show.

In this strangest of years with the C19 situation, there have been no open koi shows in the UK. The Crouch Valley Koi Club are one of the largest koi clubs in the UK, and they always have a full calendar of events. They’ve done a fantastic job of keeping their members active this year and have been able to put on 1 of the 2 shows they normally run a year; namely, their photographic show in the autumn, just for their members. It is in this event that the kohaku bred by us did so well.

The awards build up by variety and by size in the normal fashion, and topping out into 2 overall awards; the club feeling this more suitable for the smaller photographic show event rather than the usual 1 Grand Champion award that they would have for their larger open show.

The very top awards at the show, ie the best in show awards were Best Go Sanke, and Best Non Go Sanke.

Go Sanke, is the grouping of Kohaku, Sanke and Showa and because those varieties are regarded as the top 3 in Japan and so many koi of those varieties are produced; this go sanke category is generally regarded as the tougher of the two categories; and at other shows, the best Go Sanke usually ends up as Grand Champion.

The Byer Koi Farm Kohaku, exhibited by Tony Thompson, won Best Go Sanke!

No other koi beat this Kohaku.

The show allowed koi up to size 6 to enter (ie up to 75cm… a very substantial size), and was entered by 75 separate koi.

Tony’s Kohaku, is in size 4 at the upper end of that size as I understand it from Tony. So mid 50’s cm. It comes from the 2017 spawning of our Lava Rosa kohaku line, and was actually the first spawning from her. It has a pattern style that we call ‘Map Of England’, because of the way the pattern weaves across the koi’s back making shapes like the English coastline. This Kohaku is nicknamed ‘Map Of England 2’, as it’s the second koi we bred with that style of pattern. The first ‘Map Of England’ was from our Sharkey line a year earlier.

The ‘Map Of England 2’ Kohaku was made available for sale at Nisai in spring 2019 as one of the top 3 Kohaku produced, female, priced at £750 . But she didn’t sell. All the qualities you’d want from a Kohaku were there; the body, skin and colour were fantastic. And a brilliant unique pattern. But, the koi was on the smaller side for the spawning, and I cant find the record of it’s length at that time but from memory, around 40cm.

I kept her here at Byer Koi Farm summer '19 after which she reached sansai, at which point Tony Thompson bought her. And this autumn, she had completed her 4th summer and become yonsai and Tony entered her into the show.

I looked back at my blog from 2017 for information about the spawning she came from and I described it on my blog at the time as the ‘May#1’ spawning; and a few months after the spawning, I said this in my blog about them when they would have been a few inches long:

“This batch of fish are particularly intriguing. Because, the body shapes coming through on some of the better ones are different to what we’ve seen before. There’s a pronounced volume around the shoulders, And, the growth has been pretty good too.”

I’d strongly suspect that ‘Map Of England 2’s lovely body shape with strong volume was a key aspect in her show success in 2020!

And Tony has this picture of her from the recent show:



In terms of photo records, I found this picture of her from March 2019 when she was nisai

A few concluding thoughts

Whilst our Baby Champions from the All England, and the two South of England koi shows in the last 5 years have beaten more koi to win their respective champion awards, and noting they were won at open shows and in very tough competition - particular the All England, regarded as the stiffest competition in the UK... It’s difficult to look past the ‘Map Of England 2’ winning the top award open to her at the Crouch Valley’s photo show as another major achievement. And even though it was at a smaller show, any koi exhibitor will tell you how extremely difficult it is to win the top award at any show, and so for us, ‘Map Of England 2’ is right up there in terms of achievement and earns her a place in our ‘Pond of Fame’ (well, Hall of Fame) !!

Tony picked well, and reared her meticulously over the last year. She is still a young koi at yonsai, and I have high hopes for her as she matures over the next 2 or 3 years.