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Tategoi Judging 2013

Sunday the 29th of October saw the judging for this years 6 month Tategoi competition. We had moved the competition to a six month period as opposed to the normal year, due to the over whelming request of our customers to make the competition more interesting for these how did not want to heat over the winter month. So the actual picking of the koi took place on Easter Sunday this year and saw a massive interest with over 50 koi being snapped up. The koi in question were an impressive selection of Sakai Hiroshima Jumbo Tosai, which we shipped in for this event. For these who are not familiar with the competition the aim is not just to grow the koi, but develop the koi the most over a six month period, and then if you so wish you can return the for koi judging 6 months later and be in with a chance to win what has to be one of the biggest prize funds in koi. The prize this year consisted of the following:


  • 30kg of Coppens Food
  • Waterco Eco Tuff Beadfilter worth over £800
  • Evolution Aqua Eazy Pod
  • TMC 55 watt UV
  • Haliea Airpump
  • 10kg NT Labs Probitioc
  • Oase Pondovac
  • Sansai Oyster Shell Medium

And numerous vouchers to use at KWB and with the leading pond building firm in the south Koi Zen.

So it was a cold but bright start to the morning of the 29th, and there was great expectations as there was a number of koi coming back, around 15 in total from five different owners, and these dually arrived over the coming hours ready for judging at 11 o'clock. Anticipation was high as there were same famous faces in the competition Jim Litchfield a previous multi time winner of the competition had brought his koi back for judging, as had Guy Williams the winner of the 2012 competition, and then added to this David and Scott Jenkins had entered and perhaps had the biggest advantage having had there koi grown on in an 88,000 gallon heated pond! This meant that the competition was going to be very close. So with the 11 o'clock hour approaching an explanation as to the voting was given which was going to be via a ballot where by the customers and staff could vote unanimously for there top three koi, then if there was a clear winner from this , that koi would be crowned the winner , if there a tie, then the final decision would be made by myself (Keith Holmes - Manger - KWB). So the koi were now released from there bags into separate bowls for each customer which were shielded from each other to ensure that bio-secutiy was kept high! Now the close scrutiny of each koi started by the many people who had got up on this sunday morning to come and view the results of 6 months growing and development. Being impartial I stood back and watched the general mood and tried to pick up any patterns, and it was quick to see that very soon two bowls were getting all of the attention, these being Guy Williams bowl, and that of James Moore. James Moore was a new comer to the competition and a new face to Koi Water Barn, and in fact only entered the competition of seeing a post on the koi mag forum, and after this deciding to enter and purchase just the one Sakai Jumbo Tosai. Guy on the other hand had five koi in his bowl, not all owned by him as he and two friends had grouped together to purchase a number of koi at the original competition. So with the clock ticking, and the next wave of customer arriving , those being those who were coming for the after noon Auction, it was time to check the results. Well as the ballot papers were counted it did start to become clear that two koi were marching ahead with the voting and these were indeed the Kohaku of James Moore and one of the Sanke's in Guy Williams bowl. So as the last of the voting papers came in and the totals added, it was a dead heat for first place between these two said koi, which meant that the pressure was on me now, so I decided to mingle and ask for a few question to gauge the publics conception as to why they had made there choices. I must confess I had insatiately liked James Moores Kohaku as soon as it arrived, as it had grown immensely and the improvement of the skin and red pigmentation was amazing, and this was what in the end final swayed me. Many people commented that the Kohaku had some demerits red in the tail, fin etc, and that the sanke was a much better koi, but most people seem to agree the sanke had not done anything over the six months it was a good koi when picked and was the same koi , having gown a little over the six months.














So a tough call, and some may say I copped it at this point, but as both koi were so I good, the decision was made to offer the owner of the Sanke which was not Guy, but one of his friends, a fish voucher to use at KWB over the coming year, and then award the main prize to James Moore. Upon telling James the good news he seemed in disbelief and amazed that on his first attempt at entering this competition he could win it! Not only did James win the prize, but he also won the Julian Read Memory Trophy which we award to the winner of the competition each year. For those not familiar with the name Julian Read he was a very loved customer of Koi Water Barn and a regular entrant and winner of the competition, but sadly he passed away a number of years ago, and at the point it was suggested that as a fitting tribute to Julian all future winners are presented with a trophy named after him, which we have now done for many years.
















With the car park bursting at the seems, for what was turning into one of the busiest days at the Barn for many years, a quick photo shot of the winners , before presenting the prizes before the Auction started.

Everyone seemed to have a very enjoyable time, and really appreciated seeing the amazing growth rates and development of the koi returned, and a massive thank you must be said to everyone who returned there koi for judging. Also a massive thank you must go to the numerous people who helped on the not just at the tategoi competition but the Auction in the Afternoon , which did prove to be the best Auction for a long long time, with every lot selling, for very good prices. So a massive thank you to Andrew Logan, Dave, Darren Metalli, Molly Holmes, Mike Keyte, Mark Washington, Gary Vallins, Tom Stephens, and finally Bartek, who was working his last day at the Barn having been working with us on and off for the past 5 and 6 years, the time seemed right for us to part company and for Bartek to move on to pastures new. Well not to new, as his new job was to be working for his good friend and now boss, Darren Metalli owner of  Koi Zen , the leading the pond building company in the south.

If after reading this you fancy taking part in next years competition well be sure to keep a eye on our website and our adverts in Koi Carp Magazine for details, but we anticipate the selection will be on Easter weekend 2014, so we hope to see many of you at this very special event!

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