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Taking In The 2004 BKKS National

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  • Taking In The 2004 BKKS National

    As requested by DickB, I'll be posting pics and sharing my observations of the 2004 BKKS National. Feel free to jump in with questions or comments.

    As readers of this board know, it happened that I was on a family vacation in London on the weekend of the National. My family took off for a day in Paris (originally it was supposed to be shopping, but they upped the ante). I headed to Newark with the help of travel directions given by Mark Gardner. (Thanks again, Mark. You are a fine travel planner.) Having never dealt with the British train system, I allowed a margin of error. No need. All went smoothly and the trains were on time. I arrived at the Newark train station shortly after 8am, hailed a taxi, asked to be taken to the "show ground" and within minutes was standing in a gravel parking lot with lots of signs about horses, "kit cars", an arrow pointing to "koi show vendor parking" and not much else. I was promptly greeted by a fellow in military camouflage, wearing very real looking insignia, who rather authoritatively commanded that I reveal my "purpose". I said: "To look at the fish". I suddenly had the mental image of being in some Monty Python time warp and just cracked up laughing. Regaining composure, I explained there was a koi carp show someplace around the show ground. He acknowledged there was, and then escorted me past horse rings, all sorts of out buildings, through fences & gates to the koi show area. Seems I'd arrived at the wrong gate. I learned later that there was an admission charge I had not paid.

    This is what I first saw:
  • #2

    The outer sides of the show tent were enclosed by 84 numbered show tanks, each 8 feet in diameter. A few additional un-numbered tanks were set up in places, some of which were 6 feet in diameter. The huge tent contained some tanks of aged water, some disinfectant tanks, air lines for aerating the show tanks and a couple of tables for use by the judges and the water quality team. Mainly, the interior of the tent was empty. All show tanks were exposed to natural light at the edges of the tent.

    Surrounding the central show tent were more tents housing vendors of every type. These tents were huge. I did not count the number of vendors, but there had to be 60 or so. Each vendor received a huge area and many brought large inventories to sell. The vendor tents surrounded the show tent.

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    • #3

      I had been told that thousands of koikeepers from all parts of the UK would be traveling to attend the show. But, it was not yet 8:30am and I was one of the few people around. It was overcast and rain was predicted, so I decided to start taking in the show entries. The first show tank I approached was vat #74. There was no way to get a picture of the fish. In the middle of each tank was a conical filter device with heavy aeration that drew the water thru zeolite to absorb ammonia. Two additional airstones hung over the edge. Sometimes it was impossible to get a decent shot. Other times it was possible, but I had to wait for the subject koi to swim to the one edge of the tank where surface disturbance was least and hope it would be properly aligned and not be too much reflection. Moving on to vat #75, I found these

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      • #4

        The Hi on the Dealer Champion Sanke was extraordinary and the Shiro was very clean. Although the Sumi is primarily on the Hi, the depth of the black was dramatic.

        I was really impressed. I did not realize she was a dealer's fish. No sign was posted. She quickly became the "standard" against which I measured all other fish I saw that day, and in my purely personal opinion, none surpassed her. She was my favorite of the show. Others were larger (although she was a sizeable fish I'd estimate at over 28"), but none with the thick red and such clean white. The top winners had "dirty shiro" that can come with age and size.

        Then I went to vat#76 and saw these:

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        • #5

          Oooops! That first Sanke posted above was not vat#76. The picture of the trio of beauties is correct. Was I ever blown away. I was looking at just the third tank and I was seeing great fish in every one.

          I wish I could describe how clean and crisp the colors of the Shusui were. This is not the sort of Shusui I particularly care for. Far too much red for my taste. But, she was wonderful. And, the Sanke ... fantastic, except weak sumi... otherwise, as high quality as the Dealer Champion.

          Then I changed direction and next time I could get a decent pic was Vat#70. The stand outs in the tank were a black-nosed Showa and a Sanke. Had a tough time time getting a pic.

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          • #6

            Then I was at vat#71 where I spent forever trying to get pics of some very nice koi. These were the best I could get.

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            • #7

              The Sanke pic is so blurry due to all the aeration that I probably should not have wasted memory on it, but it was so outstanding I had to keep one shot of her.

              By the way, I learned later that these were entries of Dan & Gene from Texas, whose state of the art pond is often mentioned on the NI board. I met them briefly later in the day and learned a second pond is under way as an acclimation/quarantine pond for fish taken to shows. I expect we will be reading about it when Steve Childers et al are ready to start sharing new innovations. Sorry no pics of Dan & Gene. By that time my digital camera batteries were worn out and I did not have more with me. Learned a lesson. With a digital camera, one needs to carry a lot of batteries.

              So, I then stepped over to vat#69. How can one person have so many nice ones that they'd be willing to transport across the country to the middle of a grass field?? But, this is the BKKS National, so great fish in every tank is to be expected.

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              • #8

                Those were good sized ones too!

                Well, the travelogue will continue. We have a lot of vats to walk past. But, for now, I'm taking a break. (BTW, it was around this point that light misty rain began to fall.)

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                • #9

                  Bravo,Mike Bravo!!!!

                  This is Fantastic!!!!! It was almost as if I'd gone along..
                  Thank-you! Thank-you!!!!

                  I saw a kinda showa in the pics to die for!!!!!
                  Dick Benbow

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                  • #10

                    Yes, Thank You Very Much!

                    DoMo.
                    Bancherd

                    Thai Koi-Keepers' Group

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                    • #11

                      Dick & Bancherd: The koi really get better, too.

                      Moving along, no good shots in vat#68, but in #67 there was this this Tancho Showa. The Sumi needed a lot of maturing, but made a pleasant impression.

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                      • #12

                        The aeration was too heavy on the next several tanks, but in vat#64 there was a big Sanke and nice Gin Rin Showa. They made for a nice display, except the depth of color of the Showa weakened the impression of the Sanke. (The little Sanke in the Showa pic was nicer than the photo indicates, but I did not care for the head marking.) The Showa had excellent Hi on the head, but the ginrin weakened the effect on the body. The Sumi on the body, on the other hand, was just as intense.

                        Then, I went back to vat#65 determined to get a decent photo of a maruten kohaku. I stood there a long time.

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                        • #13

                          Finally, a fellow checking water quality moved an airstone for a moment and I was able to get these pics.

                          The Hi on this Kohaku was not as deep and thick as on the ones in vat#69, but the shiro was very good and this gal had volume! Maybe just a little too much for her length?

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                          • #14

                            Then, back to vat#63, where there was not a single large koi in the tank. It was almost a shock to see such a mix of small colorful fish, with large gosanke dominating the entries I'd seen so far. The stand out in this tank was the Gin Rin Ochiba Shigure. The gray had a nice bluish tint and the rest was a deep reddish copper. She was maybe 15" and very active, so the pic is pretty lousy.

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                            • #15

                              Next of note was vat#61 in which there was a peculiar "Goshiki Budo Goromo" among a mix of colorful koi. The base body was that of a Goshiki, with a light abdomen. The entire dorsal area was a single plate of Budo Goromo purple on rusty-persimmon. And he (?) had a perky disposition.

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