About the competition management, the winners and the atmosphere at the Tosai and Bonsai Koishow of the Koicave
Sunday 22nd of May was the first edition of the Tosai Bonsai Koishow of the Koicave, the most active koi association in the Netherlands at the moment. There has been a lot of fuss about koi shows in recent years. Cancellations due to various reasons: corona, financing not being completed and I don't know what else.
A few days before this show, I started to feel the jitters. I was longing for a good show. There was also a little bit of fear involved. If the expectations are (too) high, then the chances of disappointment are also high. Various thoughts passed through my brain: What if too much goes wrong? What if there are not enough visitors?
whether I would like to collect some fish
I suppress them and search for positivity in my mind. Just a few days to go and several phone calls are made. I was asked if I might be able to pick up some fish in Dommelen that would like to take part in this competition. There is only one answer for me: Of course!
The dawn has gold in its mouth
Because of this, my alarm clock goes off at 4.45am. A bit tired, but full of energy I get out of bed. A quick cheese sandwich and into the car. I get out of the car in Dommelen. The bins, bags and air pump are already next to the pond. Three koi need to be scooped. A quick measurement: 52 cm! Bummer! This one may not participate, because this tosai-show is up to 50 cm. The other two are allowed. Into the car and go!
Fifteen minutes before Oudenbosch I call Stefan, member of the Koicave board. The excitement of meeting everyone again at an event is great.
Are you there yet?I call through the car kit.
Stefan: "No, but I'm nearly there. Kees is driving and his accelerator has only one setting, full throttle!'
Apparently the enthusiasm is shared and that promises something.
Once I arrive at the stand, my koi heart starts beating faster. The entrance is impressive with a lot of flags. The decoration exceeds my expectations. I had expected a small show. Simply set up with a few barrels. However, the opposite is true. There are fewer barrels than at a larger show (34 to be precise). But splash screens, wooden framing, shade cloths and everything is there. Quite a job for a one-day show. The coffee is ready and I am ready for it.
The competition management has a stand and we also have some space to promote the Koi Academy. The large banner is placed and immediately gets an extra function. The sun is low, burning brightly and we see nothing on our laptops. The activity starts and everyone rolls up their sleeves. The benching team has a tough job. Then Joop van Tol (Koitoday) and I digitise all the fish that have come in. Each koi gets a Koi-iD. Time flies and around 11.00h the judging team can start. The team consists of various koi dealers: John de Leur(Chikara Koi), Siebe van Tilburg (The Koi Page), Myra van Dintheren and John van Dintheren (Koi Maas en Waal). Which koi will compete against which koi comes automatically from the software, created by Joop. The jury can get started!
A kind of best of the best. Very nice and interesting!
There are a lot of prizes to be handed out. The nice thing about this show is that judging is done according to Shinkokai rules. That is slightly different from ZNA. I don't want to go into that too much technically, but you have to get used to it. The prizes are named after flowers and in Japanese: Kokugyo, Miyabi, Botan, Tsubaki and Sakura. The flower award is a big prize. Show classes are grouped together and the best of the prize winners of the show classes of that group then wins a large prize. A kind of best of the best. Very nice and interesting!
Fortunately, I also have time to enjoy other things now and then. Around two o'clock I took a good look around. Not at the koi, but at the people. I found it very busy. Much busier than I had expected. So many people standing together at the keg. Chatting about koi (or bonsai or topiary). Talking with the dealers present. Or just enjoying the delicious food! There was plenty of BBQ'd. And I do mean BBQ'ing, on charcoal. It smelled delicious and tasted like more. And finally, even the weather was on our side.
At previous other shows, I often find the award ceremony a formal affair. There is little interest in it apart from the participants. How different it was on this day! The downside was that participants became a bit impatient at the end of the day. They did not yet know who had won, while this is always the case at other shows. Only the Grand Champion, the Supreme Champion and Grand Champion B had been announced earlier.
The ignorant tension built up. The prize-giving ceremony was well-attended and that gives an applause more dignity. Theo, chairman Koicave, steps forward and grabs the microphone.
It is the icing on the cake for many. In addition to the eternal praise for the winning koi, all the volunteers and others who have contributed are also praised. And rightly so! A top performance by everyone to organise such a day. In any case, I went home with a very satisfying feeling. May there be many more editions!