Published on Thu Jun 23 07:00:00 BST 2011
A FORMER Newmarket jump jockey, now a world authority on koi carp, is staging an exhibition of his fish to raise money for research into breast cancer.
Alan “Scobie” Coogan is hoping the display will be as successful as a seminar he held at the Rutland Arms Hotel in Newmarket last December, which raised £1,000 for the charity.
Mr Coogan, who is well-known in Newmarket’s racing community, started his koi carp business when he retired from the saddle. He now has a world-wide reputation as an expert on the fish and is a judge for the British Koi Keepers’ Society.
Now based in Soham, his farm is equipped with special fish vats which are home to 28 national champions as well as three All-Japan show champions.
Koi breeding is something of an art form in Japan where koi – the Japanese word for carp – are symbols of love and friendship.
To further his knowledge, Mr Coogan, who has been keeping the fish for about 20 years has, for the past 15 years, made an annual visit to Japan, where he has studied with masters of the koi-keeping art.
The Newmarket exhibition will be on The Severals on Saturday, July 2, and Sunday, July 3, with all proceeds going to breast cancer research.
“When we held the seminar last year, we had visitors from all over Europe,” said Mr Coogan. “We hope the exhibition will be just as successful.”