The Dealer Show - The National Koi Show 2023
At this year’s National Koi Show, not only did hobbyists exhibit, but koi dealers too! Koi dealers across the UK went head-to-head to compete for coveted awards. Separate from the hobbyist show, the committee wanted to try this new format, which seemed very popular!
The rules were similar to a 'young koi show' with the maximum size koi entered being 65cm (size 5), making the competition more accessible to every dealer. Another rule of note was that each dealer could only enter one koi in each size category. This was to avoid the vats being filled with similar size koi, competing against each other, and to force the competitors to think carefully about what koi they entered. Putting their best hand forward, as it were.
One Grand Champion was selected (regardless of size or class), and five 'Size Champions' to represent each size category. Nine dealers took part this year, Coastal Koi, Dock Koi, Clearwater Koi, Shirley Aquatics, Koi Water Barn, Absolute Koi, The Koi Collection, Queni Koi & Reefer Aquatics. The koi were awarded by previous Grand Champion-winning hobbyists Raad Hassan, Carmen Jenkins & Lee Manning, and the trophies were sponsored by AquaKing Red Label. Here's what Carmen Jenkins had to say about her experience awarding the show...
"I must admit that I was a bit sceptical about a dealer show at first and thought it might not even go ahead, but the dealer support was great in the end. I thoroughly enjoyed judging with Raad and Lee, as both are good company, and they also have excellent knowledge and a good eye for koi. Raad was a helpful guide throughout the process, having had experience judging previously. We were all very happy with our decisions, and we spent time discussing why each koi was a deserving winner over its competition. We actually agreed on every single decision, which made life easy!
It was a great day, and I feel very positive about it."
Unfortunately, due to the windy weather conditions and limited time, I was unable to photograph the koi as I would have liked. Something I'll be looking to amend next year - maybe I'll have a word with the man upstairs about the weather! However, I hope you enjoy this short video of the winners...
Here's what some of the dealer participants had to say about the experience.
"I thought the whole show was excellently organised. The Dealer Show was a nice addition, as the last dealer entry show (I can remember) was in 1989 in Stafford. I think it’s good to get the dealers involved as most of us are hobbyists at heart, and some competition helps push things along. Winning the show was fantastic, as it's difficult finding good koi.
I think any competition that involves the trade or hobbyists is good for the hobby, so long as you get support. Without support, everything will fall flat" - Dennis Wordsworth (Shirley Aquatics)
"We were extremely excited about this year’s twist to the BKKS National Show. We knew we had to get involved - and (boy) was it more challenging than we thought! Being a dealer and having a wide range of koi to pick from sounds like a dream but (in reality) narrowing down options to select what you think is your best chance is not an easy task. Couple this with show preparation to ensure the koi look in the best possible condition, and (it’s safe to say) I understand the hard work and effort hobbyists put in.
We were delighted to learn we took the Size 1 Champion with our gin rin goshiki, fighting off some stiff competition (especially go-sanke). I hope the koi goes on to take more certificates & trophies with its owner once sold.
Having never shown koi before, on a personal level, it was a fun experience seeing what each of our sizes would be up against & the anticipation that came with it. I now appreciate why hobbyists want to share their pride and joys with other people. What was a bit of fun offered to dealers by the BKKS has made me want my own pond more than ever!
It was great fun taking part with other dealers, and I hope to see it return, perhaps with even bigger sizes!" - Adam Walker (Queni Koi)
"As a dealer and hobbyist at heart, the opportunity to enter a koi show was a chance to showcase some of our special pieces to a large audience. It definitely adds a new dynamic to the show, and for me (being a bit competitive by nature), it keeps the hobby (and my job) fun whilst highlighting some of our best fish for koi appreciation.
It was a great show with a great atmosphere, and great people made it happen." - Amir Ayman (Koi Water Barn)
The Dealer Photos
Sanke // 64cm // Matsunosuke // Shirley Aquatics
Gin Rin Goshiki // 23cm // Hiroi // Queni Koi
Kohaku // 31cm // Hoshikin // Coastal Koi
Shiro Utsuri // 44cm // Omosako. // Koi Water Barn
Kohaku // 54cm // Momotaro // Koi Water Barn
Sanke // 63cm // Tamaura // Absolute Koi
I really enjoyed this new element of the show, and I spoke to a few attendees around the showground who felt the same. Perhaps with a few adjustments next year, even more dealers might like to get involved. I'm sure if you had any feedback (good or bad), the show committee would be more than happy to hear it. After all, that's how things grow and improve...
If you would like to find out more regarding the BKKS or its National Koi Show:
Major Awards found here:
'Other' Awards found here:
Koi Magazine anyone? More info here: