I thought I could walk away from Koi but I was wrong , so wrong.
I moved into a house with a small fish pond and a friend introduced me to Koi, too late one look and I was hooked, I mean proper hooked and can’t escape hooked. You know the routine let’s have a bigger pond, let’s not spend £50 on a fish let’s try a £100 one, why not scrimp and save for a £500 one, how about a trip to Japan. I went, did I stick to my budget, no nobody does, nobody can. I loved it so much that I went again and again in no time at all I ran out of pond space and had to sell some of my beloved koi to make space to buy more!! before I knew it I had become a Koi Dealer.
This of course compromised my position as a BKKS judge so with immense sadness I stood down. Fortunately Connoisseur Koi went from strength to strength taking me to Japan for 4 or 5 weeks every year in search of ‘must have’ koi that I connected with. I have always been the same only buying fish that ‘talked’ to me grabbing my attention demanding to be bought!
After many successful years I moved to Hampshire meaning the Koi House was no more. I will always remember the words of Bernie Woollands who described it as Mushigame on Thame.
With perfect timing Ashley Dart invited me to visit the Yohikigoi Farm in Poland in early October to help with the Harvest the Mud Ponds, I jumped at the chance and was super impressed with the sheer scale and quality of what I saw. I began to get frustrated as I was not able to buy any fish for me! Not that this stopped me of course a quite awesome Gin Rin Shiro Utsuri kept winking at me. I was continually drawn back to the pond just to drool lovingly over the fish that had properly grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go. Fortunately Ashley was similarly smitten with the Shiro and ended up taking it – what a relief! After visiting several times a great relationship developed with Ernest Driessen the owner of the farm and visionary in terms of bringing Jos Aben on board to work with him selecting parent stock from Japan and commencing the breeding programme. Also working with Merv ‘the swerve’ Westgate from Suffolk who joined and is now Farm Manager.
That is the potted background to my joining the Yoshikigoi team in my own small way.
Every fish I select for Connoisseur Yoshikigoi will always have something about it that grabs me and hopefully connects with you as well.
Why don’t you come with me to Poland and let me help you find your ‘must have’ fish I promise you there are absolute crackers to suit every pocket.
To enquire about the trips contact Susie Sue Ravenhill our travel organiser extraordinaire who can advise on date availability. She can also accommodate groups from Koi Clubs or interested friends form a specific region. She can be contacted here